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Pack’s best shot is to abandon the run

I’m taking the Steelers, but truth be told, would rather see the Packers win Super Bowl XLV today.

And since everything in this space revolves around the Raiders, the advice for Green Bay is to cue up the tape from Sept. 15, 2002, Oakland vs. Pittsburgh at Heinz Field.

The Raiders were in their second game with Bill Callahan as head coach and Marc Trestman as offensive coordinator, having traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

In the opener, the offense was much as Gruden would have it _ 423 yards of total offense, 221 rushing, 202 passing, 13 first downs rushing, 12 first downs passing. The very picture of balance in a 31-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

In the days leading up to Pittsburgh in Week 2, Callahan talked about the need for similar balance against the Steelers. No way the Raiders could survive such a ferocious defense without it.

Of course, Callahan and Trestman had other ideas. New England’s Tom Brady went 29-for-43 for 294 yards and three touchdowns in beating Pittsburgh 30-14 in the opener, with the Patriots running the ball only 18 times.

Turns out, Callahan later said they had been game planning for Pittsburgh since the offseason, essentially turning the ball over to Rich Gannon and letting him control the game with his passing.

In one of the more memorable Raiders regular season games I’ve ever covered, Gannon threw 41 passes _ by halftime. He completed 29 of them, for 257 yards and a touchdown. They had only five running plays in the half, one of them a 36-yard TD run by Charlie Garner. By game’s end, Gannon was 43-for-64 for 403 yards and the Raiders prevailed 30-17. Oakland had spread Pittsburgh out and attacked through a series of short passes which helped negate the Steelers pass rush (they still sacked Gannon five times).

The Raiders had 20 third down attempts and converted 12 of them.

Green Bay doesn’t have much of a running game and would be best advised to abandon it shortly after the National Anthem. Let Rodgers put the ball up 50-plus times and have his arm be both the passing game and the running game.

The Steelers’ defensive coordinator in 2002 wasn’t Dick LeBeau, in his last year with Cincinnati as head coach, but Tim Lewis. However, it was still a similar 3-4 and even has two starters still intact in nose tackle Casey Hampton and inside linebacker James Farrior.

Some of the most notable success against Pittsburgh this season came from elite quarterbacks who controlled the game with their passing. Brady was 30-for-43 for 350 yards and three touchdowns in a 39-26 win on Nov. 14. Drew Brees was 34-for-44 (including 20 of 22 in the second half) for 305 yards and two touchdowns in a 20-10 win on Oct. 31.

As the father of a teenage daughter, I’m all for Rodgers winning over Ben Roethlisberger, although my first instinct is that the Steelers will win.

So my advice for Green Bay _ get lots of ice for Rodgers’ arm. Do this right, and he’ll need it at the postgame party.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • hwnrdr

    I know I say this every year but this is going to be a long offseason and for some reason it feels like its going to be a LOOOONG one…
    Come on Goodell, right this thing!

  • bcz24

    Aint Goodell that has to get it righted. The owners have to suck it up and come to terms with the players.

    I loved the shining example of NFL greed on display for the world to see last night… “Hey we know we sold you a ticket to the Super Bowl, but… those seats arent really available, but we have this beautiful standing area outside the stadium that you can watch on TV”

  • hwnrdr

    I know it ain’t Goodell but he is the one trying to get this thing going…
    And yeah, that part was stupid…and all those fans outside bearing the cold to watch the game on tv…how much did they pay?

  • r8rwill

    good morning nation,
    s&bpa i agree with your assessment of veldheer, i yhink the easiest way to overcome them is move him back to center, perfect fit it seems to me…

  • LA to TheBay

    Perry or Moss?

  • hwnrdr

    Now that GB won…you think it would be harder to get them?

  • RaiderRockstar

    a few things to think about:

    #1 Aaron Rodgers was getting hit like crazy. His O-Line didn’t play a championship level game. I think Nelson, Jones & Swain combined for like 7 drops, too!

    I hope Al Davis & Hue Jackson weren’t watching the game …

    Jason Campbell with that same supporting cast would have been lucky to put up 3 points on offense, even with the Squeeler turnovers (besides Collins pick-six)

  • olinesux

    id watch christina aguilar over some washed up ex gnr singer or an old fart who singer anyday of the year….

  • RaiderRockstar

    #2 for those of you blaming the run defense solely on guys like reserve DT John Henderson & OLB Groves:

    Groves is better than Erik Walden & Frank Zombo.

    Henderson is better than Howard Green.

    When you have injuries or a so-called “weak link” the other players step up so you don’t even notice the other guys in there. The style of defense also plays a huge factor. the Packers aggressive 3-4 doesn’t rely so heavily on guys winning 1-on-1 match ups

  • RaiderRockstar

    Now that GB won…you think it would be harder to get them?

    ***

    LA & Hwnrdr,

    Moss and Perry may stick around and try to repeat with all this “dynasty” talk being thrown around … but everybody has a price and Al Davis is one cheap SOB

    the Eagles may steal away one of them

  • Carl Weathers

    Morning Nation!

    Hey RR, didn’t the Eagles already sign a DC? I wonder what teams are still searching for a DC?

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Pittsburgh gave the game away.

    3 turnovers that GB turned into 21 points was the difference.

    And each turnover was at a key point in the game.

    The Nick Collins pick 7.

    Then, Pitt kicks the FG to make it 14-3, GB follows with a 3 and out and Pitt’s offense gets to GB’s 49 after starting from their own 12….then comes the 2nd Int. and GB starts at their 47 and turns into another TD….21-3.

    Then the game is 21-17 and Pitt is dominating…they have a 1st and 10 at GB’s 29, Pitt calls 3 straight passes and ends up losing 5 yards, on 4th and 15 from GB’s 34, a missed FG…..Pitt absolutely botched that drive.

    GB follows with 2 straight 3 and outs, punts out of their end zone.

    Finally, still a 21-17 game, Pitt gets the ball at GB’s 41, Mendenhall runs for 8 yards, Pitt is at GB’s 33 yard line with 2nd and 2….and Mendenhall fumbles, GB gets the ball at their own 45 and scores another TD.

  • Carl Weathers

    Bob Marley Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 7:54 am
    Pittsburgh gave the game away.
    ***********
    Green Bays defense won the game, period.

  • phatcable

    good morning forget the steelers rhe black eyed peas lost the super bowl!

  • HayesDaze37

    It’s a great day to be a Raiders fan! Isn’t it?!

    Was there a game yesterday?

  • hwnrdr

    Thank you because that is exactly what happened! Take away those 3, Pitt wins their 7th! Although…not complaining…but i don’t know about a dynasty! Isn’t that waht they said in 97 also?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    After watching that Packers defense; I want either Perry or Moss as our DC and Casey Matthews in the 2nd or 3rd round. We need to generate turnovers like that.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    More thoughts:

    Aaron Rodgers is definitely great, nobody out there can match the velocity and accuracy he puts on his throws.

    Almost no pre-snap movement from Pitt’s to confuse Rodgers, they mostly lined up, got in their stance and waited for the snap, I felt they needed to stand up and move around more.

    Almost forgot another key play…

    It’s 21-17 with Pitt at GB’s 44 and Ben misses a wide open Wallace running into the end zone.

  • HayesDaze37

    Coaching search??

    Shhh…Al’s on the phone.

  • LA to TheBay

    RRS,

    Both those guys want a promotion. Moss was openly talking about in the days leadin up to the SB.

    At least one is as good as gone.

  • phatcable

    VW little kid as darth vader best superbowl commercial

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    “Carl Weathers Says:

    Green Bays defense won the game, period.”

    They certainly did their part and the pick-7 was all on GB’s defense, with the pass-rush getting to Ben and Nick Collins making a great play.

    But Pitt still moved the ball to the tune of 387 total yards and should have scored more points.

  • phatcable

    Christina Aguilera Botches National Anthem at Super Bowl, Admits Mistake.who was strangling tne cat?

  • HayesDaze37

    That was a great ball game…especially for non-fans of either team.

    Rodgers deserved the MVP award…he carried his team, no doubt. I don’t know how many more times he could’ve done what he was doing, he was brilliantly accurate most of the game. I found meself almost hoping to see Pittsburgh score again, to see if there was more in Rodgers’ tank.

    Very entertaining game, with lots of sub-plots as to why the score ended up the way it did. Had Pittsburgh scored one more TD, it would’ve been one of the all-time greats.

  • phatcable

    “Carl Weathers Says:

    Green Bays defense won the game, period.”

    They certainly did their part and the pick-7 was all on GB’s defense, with the pass-rush getting to Ben and Nick Collins making a great play.

    But Pitt still moved the ball to the tune of 387 total yards and should have scored more points.
    …………….the team that scores the most points doesnt always win!

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    Still, it was a nice game and since I made a small profit I can’t complain.

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    phatcable Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 8:11 am

    the team that scores the most points doesnt always win!
    —————————————————

    Uhmm…..I’m pretty sure they always do.

  • bcz24

    hwnrdr Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 7:11 am
    I know it ain’t Goodell but he is the one trying to get this thing going…
    And yeah, that part was stupid…and all those fans outside bearing the cold to watch the game on tv…how much did they pay?
    **************
    $250.00 No joke. People actually paid $250 to watch the game on a big tv outside the stadium.

  • Carl Weathers

    Tom Cables’ Seahawks have signed ex-Raiders, Paul McQuistan and Jay Alford.

    Interesting they would bring in McQ when Cable let him walk last year.

  • phatcable

    NFL offers free tickets to next Super Bowl to compensate 400 fans
    Posted by Michael David Smith on February 7, 2011, 10:42 AM EST
    The 400 fans who were forced to watch Super Bowl XLV on TV because their tickets were for temporary seating in Cowboys Stadium that never got finished will get in to Super Bowl XLVI for free.

    That was revealed this morning by NFL PR guy Brian McCarthy, who’s trying to put the best spin possible on what the NFL is doing for the fans whose $800 tickets weren’t honored.

    “The 400 fans w/out seats last nite went on field postgame, received free merchandise, food, beverage, $2,400, free SB46 tix,” McCarthy tweeted.

    I would hope the NFL is also planning to fly the fans to Indianapolis and take care of their accommodations at next year’s Super Bowl. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if most of the 400 fans don’t want to go to next year’s Super Bowl

  • Carl Weathers

    Bob Marley Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 8:13 am
    Still, it was a nice game and since I made a small profit I can’t complain.
    ********
    Congrats! I cashed out today, thanks Packers!

  • http://0 Bob Marley

    How about this guy hitting on every bet?.

    Congratulations man.

    “mack-madden Says:
    February 6th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    My bet is over 45.5.

    Prop bet = mike Wallace will catch a pass for +20yd gain.

    No kick/punt return TDs.

    For fun I bet a Defensive TD.”

  • Carl Weathers

    bcz24 Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 8:15 am

    $250.00 No joke. People actually paid $250 to watch the game on a big tv outside the stadium.
    **********
    WOW! I wouldn’t pay $250 to watch it live! Actually I paid $200 to see the Stones a few years ago so I probably would ;^), but paying to watch TV OUTSIDE???

  • RaiderRockstar

    Cable let him walk last year

    ***

    Cabes did?

    nah. Al Davis did!

  • HayesDaze37

    Reasons GB won:

    1. Aaron Rodgers
    2. James HarrisGonE
    3. Rashard MendenhFUMBal
    4. Troy PolamalWHO?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/skew-t/166654980/ BART Bridge Blues

    assuming there is a superbowl next year

  • RaiderRockstar

    I wonder what Chuck Woodson would have done if Scott Wells went MIA prior to SB45 ???

  • Carl Weathers

    There better be a friggin season next year!! I already have plans to see the Raiders, just waiting on the dates to be announced!

  • hwnrdr

    $250 to watch a big screen tv? And what…$100 for parking? Geez…you’re right about greed Bcz24!

  • hwnrdr

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 8:24 am
    I wonder what Chuck Woodson would have done if Scott Wells went MIA prior to SB45 ???

    LMAO!

  • phatcable

    Cowboys Stadium fails to set the Super Bowl record for attendance
    Posted by Mike Florio on February 7, 2011, 1:46 AM EST
    It widely was presumed that Super Bowl XLV, the first NFL title game played in Cowboys Stadium, would break the NFL single-game attendance record of 103,985.

    It didn’t happen.

    The official attendance, including those who weren’t actually inside the building but watching the game on outdoor HD monitors, was 103,215.

    The temporary-seat snafu apparently didn’t prevent the record from being set, since only 400 fans were displaced. It’s unclear whether those 400 fans opted to join the outdoor-indoor Party Pass crowd

  • grottoraider

    the fact that al passed on aaron rodgers in 2006 to draft fabian washington blows me away. and is proof that successful teams win with good coaching and even greater management.

  • phatcable

    The official attendance, including those who weren’t actually inside the building but watching the game on outdoor HD monitors…………….what no 3D

  • RaiderRockstar

    the fact that al passed on aaron rodgers in 2006 to draft fabian washington blows me away

    ***

    it does?

    I’m not surprised!

    Al Davis LOVES corners with speed

  • LA to TheBay

    Al: Winston, how are you? Al Davis.

    Moss: Mr. Davis, hi. Good to talk to you again.

    Al: Congratulations on beating the Steelers for me, son. Buncha p*ssies they are over there.

    Moss: Uh, ha, yeah. Um, my pleasure.

    Al: Say, how would you feel about being the defensive play-callah for the Oakland Raidahs, fella?

    Moss: Well, I would be– um, play-caller? Is that like coordinator?

    Al: More or less.

    Moss: (pause) What does it pay?

    Al: Take whatever you make now, subtract 50 grand.

    Moss: Mr. Davis, you can’t expect–

    Al: All the cole slaw and cheeseburgers you can eat. Plus you have the priveledge of working with some of the finest players in all of football.

    Moss: (pause) Nnamdi staying?

    Al: Ah, I gave that kid everything he ever asked for. I could have two or three players for what I was paying him. I’m bringing in some real talented guys back into the fold to step in for him. Of course you know Stewart Schweigert, right?

    Click.

  • phatcable

    vodpod.com/watch/5296240-beer-filling-up-through-bott…

  • phatcable
  • RaiderRockstar

    Hwnrdr,

    apparently we’re the only 2 guys who know who Scott Wells is …

    :P

  • hwnrdr

    LOL…I guess so, huh? And the reference to it…However, it is Monday morning…

  • phatcable

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 7th, 2011 at 8:44 am
    Hwnrdr,

    apparently we’re the only 2 guys who know who Scott Wells is …
    …………………..BEANIE