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Now they know what it looks like on offense

The defense had one big missed opportunity


Marjorie from Roseville, CA

It was a hard one to lose. We were there to the last second and our guys never gave up.

They don't get much tougher. The Packers were done in by two future Hall of Famers making an amazing play. What are ya gonna do?

Darren from Kingston, Canada

What a game – entertaining yet heartbreaking. What a performance by all three phases against one of the top NFL teams in their own backyard. What a rebound for Hundley. What do you think is one of the most important take-home messages for the team after this game?


Now they know what it looks like on offense. It's just about putting together one more drive. The next step for Hundley is to follow this up. He didn't do that after Chicago.**

Alan from Nixon, Ontario

I'm kind of scratching my head, Mike. How did the Pack lose this game? QB rating was good, turnovers were in the plus. What do you think was the biggest reason the Pack lost?

Because the Steelers are probably going to the Super Bowl.

Chris from West Plains, MO

Man, is it getting salty out there on the internet. Hundley puts out a stellar performance for his fifth game playing with live ammo and he still gets dragged through the mud like he's Snidley Whiplash, tying people to tracks. Honestly, how much does this negativity affect a young quarterback's play? We talk about mental toughness, moving on from losses, and hitting the pavement the next day, but with the immediacy of social media and the ability to tweet directly to a player, this has got to affect him some, right? I don't like losses, but is loyalty dead?


I sure hope not. There are no moral victories in the NFL, but if you can't appreciate an effort like that, something's wrong. I'm sure there are Pittsburgh fans who aren't enjoying the win because a backup QB came into their house and took them to the wire. It's the way of (some parts of) the world.**

Walter from Long Beach, CA

Win or lose, that was the game with the most class I have seen this season. Only seven total penalties, and a down-to-the-wire finish? The respect shown between these franchises, coaches, and players is noteworthy and is an example for the rest of the league. I wish every game was that exemplary of what this sport is about. Anyone who is hating on the Pack or the Steelers is a fool. That was awesome football, and it is why we watch the game.

That game was the NFL in a nutshell. It reaffirmed that it's a week-to-week, any-given-Sunday, who-knows league, though I wouldn't have minded an eighth penalty there with about a minute left.

Ryan from Chiang Mai, Thailand

Why use instant replay at all if it can't be used to call an obvious helmet-to-helmet hit on a quarterback?

I will continue to say it until I'm blue in the face. I don't think the NFL can be taken seriously about these player-safety issues if it's not going to use replays to get the calls correct. Watt will probably get fined, but the Packers would rather have the 15 yards and a drive-starting first down.

Drake from Portland, OR

I think the reason the Packers lost was, simply, the Steelers were a better team. Hundley and the rest of the team played great, and playing like that would have beaten many teams, but the Steelers are one of the best teams. Such a great effort put out there by the Packers, and I'm very proud of them despite the loss. Playoffs are not happening at this point, but seeing Hundley continue to develop over the next few games should be fun.


The shame of it is an offensive performance last week even barely resembling this one would have beaten Baltimore, and the Packers' season would have a whole different look to it right now. Green Bay's odds are long, yes, but until 10 wins are no longer possible, no reason to wave a white flag.**

Joe from Asbury, IA

Looks like we have ourselves Run The Table 2.0. With Atlanta and Carolina sitting with seven and eight wins already do you believe 10-6 would even get the Packers in IF somehow they did get the job done?

Both of those teams play the Vikings the next two weeks, and the big three in the NFC South are playing each other a bunch down the stretch. That division still might get both wild cards, but nothing's a given based on the schedule.

Jim from Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Should I feel encouraged or discouraged? I really don't know how I feel after this game.


Green Bay visited Heinz Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in a Week 12 matchup. Photos by Evan Siegle,

It was there for the taking. No getting around that. I can understand both.**

Matt from Minneapolis, MN

The TV sideline reporters and network commentators fill the fans in on a lot of details during the game. How much information does a team get regarding the opposing team's injuries and player statuses as they occur during the game?

Anything that is reported in the press box or on the TV broadcast can easily be relayed to the field.

Connor from 999 Oaks, CA

When is the front office going to stop protecting McCarthy? Packers shouldn't have had a chance entering this game, yet they should have won. McCarthy more than anyone else needs to be fired.

If you're being facetious, bravo. If not, I hope you realize how ridiculous you sound. As always, there are arguments regarding strategic decisions, but McCarthy obviously had plenty to do with getting the team to bounce back and play a game like that when no one outside their own locker room gave them a chance to win.

Rick from Calumet, MI

In regards to the query from Mark in Naperville, I doubt medical marijuana can be directly addressed in the next CBA. Until the issue is settled on a national level, some teams like the Packers do not have legal access to medical marijuana, where a team such as the Lions does. However, I could imagine a scenario wherein testing for THC would be removed from the results.

That would be the crux of it for the players – will the league continue to test for it?

Mark from Gillett, WI

When does Rodgers begin practicing? Off IR?


Take a look at some highlights from the moments leading up to Sunday night's Packers-Steelers game at Heinz Field. Photos by Evan Siegle,

It was interesting watching him throw at Heinz Field a few hours before kickoff. You wouldn't know anything is wrong with his arm. He was placed on IR Oct. 20, so the six weeks of missed practice runs out this coming Friday. As has been reported, the first game he'd be eligible to play in is Week 15 at Carolina.**

Dean from Leavenworth, IN

Mike, another classic weekend in college football. What's your prediction on the top eight in the CFP ranking this week? I'll be interested how the committee sees it on Tuesday.

It's not Tuesday's rankings that will matter, of course, but all the scenarios that could play out after next Saturday. I think Alabama's loss will benefit the SEC and get the Crimson Tide plus the Auburn-Georgia winner in. That leaves only two spots. One goes to Clemson with a win over Miami. If that happens, I think the last spot goes to Wisconsin with a win over Ohio State, or to Oklahoma with a win over TCU. If Clemson loses, Wisconsin and Oklahoma could both get in. If Clemson, Wisconsin, and Oklahoma all lose, heaven help us.

Ryan from Rosedale, Canada

Mike, I know situations are a little different, but I couldn't help but feel that that was our 2010 Patriots game. Did it have that look or am I just being too optimistic?

It had that look, but this one was much earlier, leaving five must-win games, plus some help, to get in the playoffs. After the New England game in 2010, the Packers had just two games left and didn't need any outside help. The task is much, much taller this time.

Paul from Milwaukee, WI

Spoff, in Friday's meeting with the defensive coaches, Joe Whitt Jr. mentioned that Kevin King was willing to "throw it" this week in practice. What did he mean specifically?

His shoulder. He means King was punching with that arm to jam at the line of scrimmage, and was willing to use it to tackle. Dom Capers said the coaching staff felt King was playing with one arm at Chicago, which is why he got last week off. Based on him going in and out of the game Sunday night, it's an issue that isn't going away until the offseason.

Matt from Rewey, WI

On the play before the field goal, would the Steelers be able to call a timeout if the Packers don't touch him down before the clock expires, since Bell gave himself up?


Gary from Belle Mead, NJ

Overall an impressive performance by the Packers. Other than taking a few sacks he shouldn't have, Hundley played a nearly perfect game. Special-teams penalties, coverage issues, and a very poor decision by MM to kick a 57-yard field goal made it an uphill battle for the defense. I'm at a loss to see how the defense could have done much more. Too many weapons. Cover well on the back end and Ben just dumps it to Bell for a first down. Single coverage on Brown and it's a big play over the top. I hope the team takes this as a positive despite the outcome and uses it going forward. Do you get that sense or is there any feeling of futility creeping in?

Futility? Absolutely not. Your analysis of the difficulty defending Pittsburgh's offense is spot on. My only problem with how the Packers played defensively was they missed too many tackles on those short dump-offs to Bell. But he wouldn't be Le'Veon Bell if he got tackled by the first guy every time. The second-and-20 after Daniels' 10-yard sack early in the fourth quarter was the defense's biggest missed opportunity. The stop at midfield late in the fourth wins the game a lot of times.

Steven from Tampa, FL

Why is McCarthy so conservative with a tie game, over a minute on the clock and two timeouts before the half? I felt they needed to be aggressive with those opportunities being the unanimous underdogs. It seems they didn't play to win the game; rather played to keep it close and hope for the best.


I don't understand the criticism regarding the end of the first half. We all saw at the end of the game how little time the Steelers needed to get points, so being too aggressive could easily have led to a halftime deficit there. A young QB, coming off a four-turnover game, had played a solid first half and was on his own 10-yard line. No reason to take a risk given that field position.**

Craig from St. Paul, MN

One of the most famous losses in Vikings history was the "take a knee" to end the first half in the NFC Championship loss to Atlanta. While overshadowed by their kicker's first miss of the season to cost them the game, their prolific offense was not allowed to try and score to end the half. Same here? Except for prolific. Another winnable game thrown away. Do you think the Pack should hire an extra game manager coach to help the head coach out in the final minutes of both halves?

Don't let the facts get in the way of your narrative. With the Vikings up 20-7 in the '98 NFC title game, Randall Cunningham was sacked and fumbled inside his own 20 in the last minute of the first half. The Falcons needed just one play to score to get within 20-14 at intermission. The Vikings got greedy and paid for it. They then took a knee in the final minute of regulation with the score tied precisely because of what had happened at the end of the first half. But yes, it was all overshadowed by Gary Anderson's lone missed kick on the year.

Markus from Aurora, CO

Tough ending in Pittsburgh. Offense looked good when they moved forward, but disappointed on getting points on the board off the turnovers. Pass defense had trouble when Big Ben had time to throw, but forced turnovers. I think the team's arrow is pointing slightly up despite this loss. Too optimistic?

Not at all. As mentioned, the Steelers could go to the Super Bowl from an AFC that may have only two upper-echelon contenders, though I think the Chargers are a legitimate sleeper right now. I thought the pass rushers mostly played it straight, so as not to open up scrambling lanes for Big Ben. That approach will make sacks harder to come by. The Packers sorely needed more than just the seven points off three turnovers. They never seized the momentum to the extent they could have.

Adam from Cleveland, OH

Outrageous sideline catch sets up an unbelievable field goal to win it as time expires. So that's what that feels like.

As bad as this feels, it's gotta feel even worse in January.

Andrew from Valparaiso, IN

I'm heartbroken. It's hard not to be. But I truly believe these games are building a better team. All of these players are having chances to shine and learn to play and win without Aaron Rodgers. This can only be good for them when he comes back, even if that's 2018. I really believe these are a special group of guys.

The last time Rodgers missed half a season, the next year was a pretty good one.

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