Steelers fall to Pack, 13-9

PITTSBURGH – With Ben Roethlisberger squaring off against Brett Favre, Saturday night's showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers could have been a classic – in the regular season.

Instead, neither Roethlisberger or Favre played much of a factor in the outcome of the contest, as both were unable to do much offensively.

But Favre's heir apparent – Aaron Rodgers – had the biggest impact, completing 18-of-27 passes for 168 yards and a touchdown as Green Bay defeated Pittsburgh, 13-9, here at Heinz Field.

"This is going to give us an edge going into next week to put an exclamation point on our training camp," said Steelers' rookie head coach Mike Tomlin.

"Defensively, once we got the mobile quarterback in there in Rodgers, we've got to do a better job of staying after him from a containment standpoint and being sound in our coverage. That's something that we can identify and get better at this week."

After leading the Steelers to a touchdown in his only series last weekend against New Orleans, Roethlisberger didn't have quite as much luck against the Packers.

The Steelers came out working on a no-huddle offense that sputtered more than anything. Roethlisberger was sacked and fumbled on third down to end the Pittsburgh's first offensive series. The offense generated just one first down on Roethlisberger's second series and he finished the night 2-for-2 for 14 yards.

"We did a bunch of no-huddle stuff, but we really didn't get into a rhythm," said Roethlisberger. "That's kind of tough when you're only playing two series. We weren't out there as much as we'd normally like, but we were at the point where we had to come out."

Favre, meanwhile, fared worse than his counterpart. He completed just 2-of-7 passes for seven yards.

Steelers' backup Charlie Batch fared a little better, completing 3-of-5 passes for 97 yards and a touchdown in limited playing time.

He completed a 41-yard touchdown pass to Walter Young in the first quarter – but Jeff Reed's extra point attempt was blocked – with 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Batch later connected with Santonio Holmes on a 49-yard bomb to the Green Bay 12, but the Steelers were unable to score from there and settled for a 27-yard Reed field goal that gave Pittsburgh a 9-0 lead.

Third-stringer Brian St. Pierre played the remainder of the game for the Steelers, finishing 10-of-23 for 99 yards.

Green Bay trimmed the lead to 9-3 at the half, moving from its own 11 to the Pittsburgh 14 with two seconds remaining in the second quarter before Dave Rayner kicked a 32- yard field goal.

The Packers went ahead on their opening possession of the second half – the second time this preseason the Steelers have allowed a touchdown on the opening possession of the second half. Rodgers finished off a 71-yard scoring drive by tossing a 3-yard pass to Carlyle Holliday to give Green Bay a 10-9 lead.

The Packers extended that lead to 13-9 when rookie kicker Mason Crosby – who is battling Rayner for Green Bay's placekicking duties – booted a 52-yard field goal with 3:25 remaining in the third quarter.

Rookie running back Gary Russell was one of the lone bright spots offensively for the Steelers. Russell carried the ball nine times for 56 yards, including a long run of 19 yards.


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