ARLINGTON, Texas — The Packers are certainly eating their cake and having it, too. The Packers are using seven man protection via the play-action pass.
In that nine-play touchdown drive, there were two crucial moments. The Packers were able to pick up a first-down on a third-and-one. And then James Starks ran eight-yards on a belly play with three wide. The Packers don’t have to run the ball well, but they have to run efficiently to keep the Steelers legit. And that is what they are getting.
The Packers were in four-down territory when Aaron Rodgers threw that touchdown to Jordy Nelson. And it was the play-action that set that up.
Most of that drive, Troy Polamalu has been playing off the ball. One time he did come up, he had to play man on a receiver and he had to tackle the guy to keep him from catching the football.
All six of the Packers pass plays had two players at the backfield at the snap, allowing them to pick up the blitz. Right now, they don’t need the spread. They have enough going with the outside receivers that they can keep guys in to protect Rodgers.
On that interception return for a touchdown, the Packers were playing two high safeties, expecting the pass. That is why Nick Collins was in great position to make that play.
The way the Steelers were running the ball, the previous drive, it’s interesting that the Steelers wanted to throw it, and the Packers were playing it. But it is far too early for the Steelers to panic.