Green Bay Packers fall to Pittsburgh Steelers, 38-31
GREEN BAY (WITI) — The Green Bay Packers no longer control their chance at a playoff run after falling 38-31 to Pittsburgh at Lambeau Field on Sunday. The only good news for Green Bay is that the Detroit Lions have been eliminated from a playoff berth, falling 23-20 to the New York Giants in over time.
The other good news, the Chicago Bears lost to the Eagles 54-11. This means the regular season would end with what essentially is an early playoff game between Green Bay and Chicago; the winner playing past week 17.
The Packers started the game out strong; Jarrett Boykin caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Matt Flynn putting the green and gold ahead 7-0 in the 1st quarter. However, the Steelers momentum didn’t fold and they scored on their very next drive. Ben Roethlisberger connected for 1-yard with Emmanuel Sanders to tie the game up at 7 a piece.
Eddie Lacy would put the Packers ahead in the 2nd quarter on a 14-yard run, making it 14-7, but Pittsburgh’s Shaun Suisham’s 31-yard field goal on their next drive put the Steelers within 4.
The 3rd quarter belonged to the Steelers as they scored 3 touchdowns, one being a pick 6. Rothlisberger picked up his first rushing touchdown of the year, which put the Steelers ahead 17-14. But Lacy’s 2-yard touchdown run two drives later gave Green Bay back the lead, 21-14.
With 1:55 left in the 3rd, Steelers’ Matt Spaeth caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to make it a 24-21 game. On the Pack’s very next drive, Matt Flynn threw a pick 6 right to Cortez Allen who took it 40 yards into the end zone. The Packers trailed by 10 going into the final quarter of the game.
Mason Crosby’s 22-yard field goal less than 3 minutes in put Green Bay within a touchdown of tying. Five minutes later they did so with a John Kuhn 1-yard run, tying the game at 31.
A fumble by Matt Flynn put the Steelers on a drive with 1:51 left in the game. 5 plays later, Le’Veon Ball ran the ball 1 yard into the end zone, putting the Steelers ahead 38-31.
The Packers had a chance to tie it when Micah Hyde’s 70-yard kick return put them at Pittsburgh’s 31 with 1:25 left. Andrew Quarless made the chances even higher by connecting with Flynn for 19 yards. James Starks ran for 4 yards putting the Pack at 2nd and 1 from Pittsburgh’s 1, but a false start penalty was called on Don Barclay, moving the Packers back 5 yards. From 2nd and 6 at Pittsburgh’s 6, with time running out, Flynn’s pass to Boykin was incomplete, ending the game as the Packers’ 7th loss of the season.
The Pack will play at Chicago next Sunday, December 29th. Kickoff is at 3:25 p.m. CT.
Notes: Eddie Lacy left in the 2nd half after re-injuring his ankle. He broke former Packer, John Brockington’s, record for most yards by a Rookie Running Back, now with 1,112. Brockington’s record was 1,105. Lacy finished the game with 2 touchdowns and 84 yards rushing.
Linebacker Clay Matthews also left the game in the 1st half, re-injuring his thumb. Brad Jones left with an ankle injury.