Patchwork CB’s Develop a case of Airsickness : Packers Insider

Patchwork CB’s Develop a case of Airsickness

December 21, 2009 by  
Filed under News

Dec 21, 2009 ~ By Tom Silverstein, Journal-Sentinel

~Pittsburgh — The kind of ground the Green Bay Packers gave up Sunday at Heinz Field Sunday could have paved a swath all the way from here to New Orleans or Minnesota or Arizona or Philadelphia – all places the defense is clearly not ready to go.

Not after the aerial assault Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger commanded in a stunning 37-36 victory.

The formerly No. 2-ranked Packers defense showed exactly where it’s vulnerable and where it will be exposed if its lucky enough to play one of the aforementioned offensive juggernauts in the playoffs. 

Bush was exposed for his poor play on the ball and lack of natural instincts playing corner. He gave up the 60-yard touchdown to Wallace, a 54-yard deep ball to receiver Hines Ward and a crucial 20-yard completion to tight end Heath Miller on the game-winning drive.

Bush was exposed for his poor play on the ball and lack of natural instincts playing corner. He gave up the 60-yard touchdown to Wallace, a 54-yard deep ball to receiver Hines Ward and a crucial 20-yard completion to tight end Heath Miller on the game-winning drive.

A secondary that once was the strength of defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ defense is now a big cushy soft spot that big-time quarterbacks like Roethlisberger can complete 29 of 46 passes for 503 yards and three touchdowns. You can only imagine how many playoff quarterbacks are drooling over an opportunity to play against the Packers.

“At this point, we have to make the playoffs,” said cornerback Charles Woodson, when asked if this was the kind of game the defense might face in the playoffs. “Our postseason is not solidified. This was a tough loss for us. We have another opportunity to get back work. We took our lumps today.”

The Packers have been able to hold up against the likes of Tony Romo, Alex Smith, Matthew Stafford, Joe Flacco and Jay Cutler, but Roethlisberger is a two-time Super Bowl winner and though the Steelers were on a five-game losing streak, he can still take advantage of mismatches when he sees them.

In passing for the most yards in a game in Steelers history, Roethlisberger completed 10 passes of 20 or more yards, which didn’t include his best one, a 19-yard strike to Mike Wallace with no time left on the clock. Once Jeff Reed kicked the extra point, the Steelers had a one-point victory.

“We gave up a big play to the start the game and that got the crowd going,” Capers said, referring to a 60-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Wallace on the Steelers’ first play from scrimmage. “We gave up too many big plays and we didn’t make enough plays. We’re going to have to take a look at it, correct our mistakes and then put it behind us.”

It might be hard to do that.

The secondary can’t blame this on not enough pressure on the quarterback. Roethlisberger was sacked five times, although he continually kept plays alive with his feet and gave his receivers time to get open. But there were too many times the Packers just got beat in the secondary.

It was finally evident how much the defense is feeling the loss of veteran cornerback Al Harris. His departure meant nickel back Tramon Williams has moved up to starter and dime back Jarrett Bush has moved into the nickel.

On this day, Bush was exposed for his poor play on the ball and lack of natural instincts playing corner. He gave up the 60-yard touchdown to Wallace, a 54-yard deep ball to receiver Hines Ward and a crucial 20-yard completion to tight end Heath Miller on the game-winning drive.

“One of the things you have to keep doing is coming back,” Bush said. “No matter what happens, you have to do that. As a defense we have to have a short memory. They made the last play and that was the difference.”

Bush’s day got off to a horrible start when he looked back for the ball way too early as Wallace ran a go route down the right sideline. When he looked up, he slowed down and Wallace ran right past him for an easy touchdown.    Full story here

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