The Green Bay Packers’ final drive against the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t net much. The Packers had the ball with 1:20 left inside their own 20. Three plays later, they would punt.
That, of course, allowed the Steelers to drive for the game-winning field goal after they got the ball back with 37 seconds left.
That may not have happened if everything went according to plan. The Packers were supposed to be running the clock and playing for overtime on that final drive. The play that derailed it was a three-yard pass to Jamaal Williams. The rookie running back ran out of bounds on the play, stopping the clock.
It was the second play of the drive. On the first, quarterback Brett Hundley got sacked for a six-yard loss. Coach Mike McCarthy thought there was a helmet-to-helmet hit on the play, but a penalty wasn’t called. He asked Hundley if he was okay, then called the play. Hundley didn’t communicate the play-for-overtime strategy to Williams.
“The play entry from the boundary went in late because I thought there was a helmet-to-helmet hit on Brett Hundley,” McCarthy said. “You obviously check to see if your quarterback’s OK. That’s a natural reaction in the flow of the game. It might affect how you’re going to call the second play, too. That’s what happened as far as Jamaal. I don’t fault Jamaal for going out of bounds on the second down.
“Jamaal didn’t know we were out of the two-minute mode. … It’s football. It happens. Hey, I don’t want to see officials make calls in the fourth quarter of a game. It happens sometimes. It happened tonight. That’s the reality of what happened. No excuses. That’s where we were.”
All in all, this was easily Hundley’s best game as a pro. He threw for 245 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Although they haven’t had much success there lately, it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if the game went to overtime.