It was the most promising performance Brett Hundley’s short career and yet the end result was still a loss. As time expired, Steelers kicker Chris Boswell made the longest field goal in Heinz Field history (53 yards) to squeeze by Green Bay 31-28. Pittsburgh’s offensive duo of Antonio Brown and Leveon Bell accounted for 354 yards of the team’s 462.
Hundley bounced back after last week’s atrocity completing 17 of 26 passes for 245 yards, 3 TDs, and a 134.3 passer rating.
Roethlisberger made quick work of Packers defense during the game’s first drive. He was 7-9 for 49 yards and punched in a touchdown on 4th and goal using a shovel pass to TE Xavier Grimble.
In an unlikely event, the Packers were able to counter for a score of their own. Hundley found Randall Cobb deep down the sideline wide open off of a wheel route for a 39-yard touchdown. 7-6 GB (thanks to a missed XP).
Damarious Randall intercepted a pass on the ensuing drive allowing the Packers a chance to turn the odds in their favor. Three plays into the drive, rookie Jamaal Williams caught a screen pass and used a brilliant block from center Corey Linsley to take it 54 yards to the house. 14-6 GB.
Williams tallied 135 yards of offense along with two touchdowns. Easily his most productive game as a pro.
The Packers forced a 3-and-out on the next drive, but of course did nothing with it handing it right back to Roethlisberger. The Steelers gained 65 yards on 5 plays to score six and converted the two-point conversion. The game is tied 14-14 going into the half.
Hundley led the Packers out in the second half somehow maintaining the brilliance he showed in the first. In just 6 plays he was able to get into the end zone. Davante Adams shook his corner down the far sideline letting Hundley drop one right over his head for a 55-yard catch a run. Adams, Hundley’s go to man, finished the game with 5 catches for 85 yards. Green Bay regains the lead 21-14.
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2017
The Packers forced another turnover after Ahmad Brooks tipped a pass allowing Blake Martinez to run under it for the second interception of the night. Finally the defense was making plays at the right time.
Trying to capitalize, McCarthy gambled by attempting a 57-yard field goal that was no where close. When asked about the decision he replied, “We knew we needed points.”
Nonetheless, it set up prime field position for Pittsburgh who could attack a defense that was without Kevin King and Damarious Randall at the time.
King checked in later on the drive as Brown got the best of him on a goal line fade to knot things up on the scoreboard. 21 all.
Three plays into the 4th, Leveon Bell was stripped by Mike Daniels saving Green Bay from going down on the scoreboard.
In the face of adversity Hundley looked awful on three straight passes handing the ball right back.
The Steelers would get their first lead of the game with just under 9 minutes to go in the game. They had their finger on the trigger and couldn’t wait to pull it back.
Down 7, Hundley trots on the field looking to tie the game after a week of being written off. The Packers were 14-point underdogs and given virtually no shot at winning prior to the contest.
Hundley’s game-tying drive had everything: hot reads, 4th down conversions, and good clock management. It was 4th and 6 on Pittsburgh’s 12 when McCarthy called a game saving timeout. He noticed a corner coming in for blitz off the edge that would have surely laid Hundley out to dry. The Packers regrouped and Hundley found Adams for an 8-yard gain. Williams capped off the drive with a 4-yard run to get Pack Nation on their feet for the final two minutes. Tied 28-28.
The defense came up HUGE on the next drive forcing a quick three and out. Hundley was going to get the ball back with 1:20 left in the game. Naturally, the moment was too good to be true. On first down Hundley was sacked by TJ Watt pressuring McCarthy to run out as much clock as possible. It did not help that Williams ran out of bounds on the next play. A rookie mistake on his part.
The Steelers were going to get a shot at winning this thing with 17 seconds left. With a combination as lethal as Roethlisberger and Brown this was too much time. First play: 23-yard tip-toeing grab from Brown. Next play: 14 more yards from Brown and the Steelers are in field goal range.
ANTONIO BROWN IS NOT HUMAN.
— NFL (@NFL) November 27, 2017
Boswell’s kick was true as it gutted a valiant effort from Hundley and the Green Bay Packers.
Final: Pittsburgh 31 Green Bay 28
___________________Brandon Carwile was a Cheesehead at birth. His dad grew up attending games at Lambeau and passed on the legacy. He has covered the Packers for over five years and currently works with packerstalk.com. Find him on twitter at @PackerScribe.