the steelers offered their fans an early gift yesterday, by keeping the playoff hopes alive, or at least extending the streak of meaningful games for one more week. but it wasn't exactly gift-wrapped.
the game was a back and forth struggle all the way through, with several lead changes, interesting calls, and gamesmanship from both sides. in the end, though, a matt flynn pass into the endzone, which could have tied the game, fell incomplete, and steelers fans everywhere collapsed into an eggnog-aided delirium.
i really enjoyed this highly entertaining game, and loved all the good things the steelers did on special teams (fake punt, a couple of big returns, reverse on a kickoff return, blocked field goal) so much that i can now overlook them allowing that big return in the last two minutes which almost allowed those pesky packers to send the thing into overtime.
big props to leveon bell, who not only had his first 100-yard rushing game, but also showed some fire by coming back from his awfully-timed fumble with a vengeance, running with power and conviction. he was a big part of why the steelers were able to win yesterday.
credit also goes to ben, who managed a great game in the elements, especially with so many twists and turns. he has proven himself to be a great leader this year, both on and off the field. the defense went back to that old "bend-but-don't-break" philosophy, which somehow seemed to work, right up to the 00:00 mark on the clock.
thanks for the gift, steelers. merry christmas!