Packers win - thank the gods! Great first half, intolerable second half.
The way we played before the injuries proved definitively we were the better team - better prepared, better trained and better coached. The way we played after the injuries showed how big a difference Donald Driver and Charles Woodson really make even when they're not (always) the ones making the big plays.
Why all the dropped passes in the 2nd half? I say it was the lack of Donald Driver. His experience and reliability are the reason Jennings, Jones and Nelson have so many opportunities down the field. When he was gone we saw how much pressure Nelson (in particular) was under and he reacted by dropping balls. Suddenly our offense was vulnerable - suddenly the Steelers could pressure us. Before losing Driver that #1 ranked Steelers defense was quickly finding themselves at a loss. After he was out we were at a loss to maintain our edge against their defense. I would have liked to see a little more Starks but the way to beat the Steelers is passing the ball and in the end I approve of McCarthy's choice to rely on Rodgers expertise to keep pushing the pass until the adjusted receivers became oriented, adjusted and won the game. We even tried a pass to Jackson and somewhere in the beginning of the 2nd half was a incompletion to a receiver I've never noticed before.
I have to say Starks really shone when he got the ball. The big runs he got against Pittsburgh were few but they really made a difference. I would have liked to see more but all the Steelers losses this year have been against teams like the Pats and the Saints and they did it over the air - the way to beat their elite defense is with an elite quarterback/receiver set and that was pretty well apparent in the first half and in the last half of the 4th quarter.
The Steelers spent two weeks preparing their offensive line to hold off Raji, Matthews and co and it definitely paid off once Woodson was out of the game. I think of that last Steelers touchdown in the second half and I almost wish we had just relaxed and let them have it considering what it cost us - it was like trading 7 PB points for 14. Judging from the first half I don't think Pittsburgh would have ever gotten into the game if Woodson hadn't been injured along with Shields - we were in the process of shutting them down and didn't get back in control over their offense until Shields returned. But over all, great game, minus the injuries it would have been game, set, match. On the other hand it was a privilege to watch the Packers overcome one last set of obstacles and walk away with a Super Bowl win over Pittsburgh.