"He's probably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL," Packers guard Daryn Colledge said, "so we feel in the huddle that all we've got to do is protect and he'll make things happen."
The Packers were also efficient on third down, going 6 for 13, including a 29-yard touchdown catch by Jordy Nelson that put Green Bay up 7-0.
"They were hitting the big plays downfield," linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. "We let them out of third-down situations. When you let a team like that out of third-down situations, you lose the game like we did tonight."
The first quarter provided an ominous peek at how this night would unfold as Starks ran for 12 yards — and Polamalu had a shot at him, and missed. Jennings caught his first of two touchdowns on the next play and Polamalu unloaded on him, his hair flying behind him. One problem: The Packers receiver was already across the goal line.
When he was asked if he thought Polamalu made an impact in the game, coach Mike Tomlin said only: "I'll let you be the judge."
When the Steelers look back at this one, they'll wish Polamalu and Harrison had done what has made them two of the elite defensive players in the NFL.
Harrison was the Defensive Player of the Year two years ago, and capped off that season with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in a Super Bowl victory. He was one of the centers of attention during the last several days, taking some hard shots at the league by calling the NFL's talk about wanting to protect players "a show." He sarcastically suggested a pillow could be used to soften blows he delivers to opposing players, and ripped the owners' push for an 18-game regular season.
Harrison was fined $100,000 by the NFL for illegal hits this season, but won't have to worry about his wallet after this game.
"I lost an AFC championship game one time, and the pain was there for about four or six weeks," Harrison said. "I don't know how long this is going to last, but I hope it's over with fast."
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