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Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers Postgame Analysis

Final Score: 

28 Packers  –  31 Steelers

Passing Stats:

Quarterback    Completions        Attempts       Yards     QBRating
Brett Hundley            17           26          245        134.3
Ben Roethlisberger            33           45          351        106.8

Receiving Stats:

Antonio Brown:  10 receptions for 169 yards – 2 Touchdowns

Le’Veon Bell:  12 receptions for 88 yards

Martavis Bryant:  4 receptions for 40 yards – 1 Touchdown

Jesse James:  3 receptions for 32 yards

Eli Rogers:   1 reception for 4 yards

Xavier Grimble:  1 reception for 1 yard – 1 Touchdown

Rushing Stats:

Le’Veon Bell:   20 rushes for 95 yards, Avg: 4.8 yards

Ben Roethlisberger:  3 rushes for 25 yards,  Avg: 8.3 yards

Martavis Bryant: 1 rush for 1 yards, Avg: 1.0 yards

Kicking Stats:

Chris Boswell –  FGM:  1 for 1,  PCT: 100%,  XPM – 2 ,  PTS: 5  *Includes game winning field goal

Game Summary:

In a game that could have well been described as a war of attrition, both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, led by quarterback Brett Hundley, gave it everything they had. At the end, it was Steelers kicker Chris Boswell’s field goal which was the deciding factor, as the Steelers prevailed in a hard-fought 31-28 victory Sunday night at Heinz Field. With their 6th straight victory, the Steelers improved their record to 9-2 and stand atop of the AFC alongside their AFC rivals, the New England Patriots.

Reminiscent of their game last week against the Tennessee Titans, the Steelers took the early 6-0 lead, with a drive in which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed passes to 6 different receivers. On the Packers first offensive possession, Hundley was able to find receiver Randall Cobb for a 39-yard touchdown, giving them a 7-6 lead.  Following a Packers interception on a pass intended for Steelers receiver Eli Rogers, on the next offensive possession Packers running back Jamaal Williams took a screen pass and converted it into a 54-yard touchdown, giving the Packers the 14-6 lead.  Midway through the second quarter, the Steelers were able to respond with a 65-yard drive, ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Steelers receiver Martavis Bryant.

After the successful two-point conversion, the Steelers were able to tie the game at 14 apiece going into halftime.

The start of the second half for the Steelers was not an ideal one, as the Packers put together a 76-yard drive, culminated by a 55-yard touchdown pass to receiver Davante Adams, giving the Packers a 21-14 lead. After a second Roethlisberger interception, the Steelers defense stood tall as defensive ends Cameron Heyward and Leterrius Walton, each collected sacks to end the Packers drive. On the next offensive possession, the Steelers receiver Antonio Brown‘s 1-yard touchdown completed a 53-yard drive, tying the game at 21.

In the fourth quarter, the Steelers offense came big as Roethlisberger completed a 33-yard touchdown pass to Brown, giving the Steelers an early 28-21 lead. Late in fourth quarter with 2:02 remaining in the contest, the Packers offense struck again, as Williams’ 4-yard rushing touchdown tied the game at 28. Within a sequence of 2 minutes, both offenses traded opportunities; yet the Steelers defense were able to force a punt with only 27 seconds remaining in the contest. Roethlisberger found his favorite target Brown for 23 yards and 14 yards on the next sequence. With less than 4 seconds remaining in the contest, Boswell sent a 53-yard field goal attempt straight through the uprights, giving the Steelers a dramatic 31-28 victory over the Packers.

The story of this game was the performance of All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown. Each of his 10 receptions were more impressive than the last, as the Packers secondary had little to no answers for him all night. His 169 receiving yards further solidifies his place as the top receiver in the NFL.  All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell accounted for a combined 183 all purpose yards — 95 rushing and 88 receiving yards. Despite tossing 2 interceptions in the first half, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made the plays when it counted and ended the contest with 345 passing yards and 4 touchdowns.

On defense, standouts included defensive captain Cameron Heyward, who collected 6 combined tackles and 2 sacks on the night, giving him a team-leading 9 sacks for the season.  Linebacker Ryan Shazier had another active night with a combined 8 tackles and one pass defended. Cornerback Mike Hilton finished the contest with 5 combined tackles, while rookie outside linebacker TJ Watt finished the contest with 4 combined tackles and a sack late in the game.

Postgame Commentary:  

Every so often, a game comes along that is unusual in nature. This particular game was one of them. Even though the Packers came in to this with a .500 record, one could get the sense right from the opening drive that this was going to be a difficult game even with the touchdown.

For anyone looking to criticize coach Mike Tomlin for making the game closer than it should have been, there are several things to take into consideration. Firstly, this time of the year is generally the most difficult time of year, especially for teams at the top. Green Bay came into the game to get themselves back into the playoff picture and was a team willing to do whatever it took to achieve it. The Steelers were very much equal to the task, with the deciding factor coming down to mistakes, which included several dropped balls and defensive gaffs in the secondary. One of the challenges being at the top, teams become more difficult no matter their record, as teams are scheming extensively to find weaknesses. I can say with confidence that it is going to get harder from this point onward.

Secondly, these are the type of games that define a team. In a closely contested match as we saw tonight, the battle becomes more mental than physical. Despite the array of mistakes, the Steelers stayed as composed as a team could be and responded. The best example of this was in the 3rd quarter, when the Steelers defense surrendered a 55-yard touchdown, but then followed it up with an interception on the next offensive series. What impressed me was how the Steelers defense responded with back-to-back sacks, then the offense responded with a touchdown to tie the game. At no point did this team assume a defeatist mentality. They simply persevered.

The reality is that there may be more games like this to come, but what is encouraging to see is that no matter the obstacle, this team is collectively equal to the task of overcoming and finding ways to win. This is generally what great teams do, and it is a reflection of the leadership of Mike Tomlin.

Steelers Play of the Game:

Antonio Brown shows the entire nation why he is rightfully named ‘Tony Toe Tap’, with yet another highlight to add to his vast collection.

 

About Kelly Anozie (27 Articles)
<p>Born and raised Ottawa, Ontario Canada, Kelly is a Steelers contributor to The Point of Pittsburgh. Formerly a contributor for SBNation’s ‘Behind the Steel Curtain’. Kelly can be reached via the Twitter handle @kanozie80</p>

16 Comments on Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers Postgame Analysis

  1. mark delsignore // November 27, 2017 at 10:12 AM // Reply

    Agree Kelly that this is the type of game that we are going to see going forward.

    The Bengals are fighting for their wild card lives and will be very aggressive when we play next week at their barn. Should see similar effort from them next week as we saw from The Pack. Plus, they will play dirty and want to put some Steelers on I.R.

    If the Ravens win tonight, they are right in the thick of the wild card race. Plus it is the Ravens, so always a battle but at our house however, the Ravens will be aggressive as they may not have any choice — similar to the Pack last night.

    All that said, the game of the year is Dec 17 — Showdown at O.K. Corral. These two games should be really good prep games for that game. I dont mean “prep game” in a negative connotation like the Bengals and Ravens are pushovers. I mean it in the sense that these will get the Steelers “tough-ed up” to put it to the Cheatriots.

    It is setting up nice right now.

  2. Burgher in California // November 27, 2017 at 11:53 AM // Reply

    Man, the tackling beyond the defensive line is downright scary. Brady picking the secondary apart comes to mind. That said, New England didn’t look impressive at all against the Dolphins yesterday. Miami was moving the ball all day — and was banging Tom Terrific around pretty good.

    Getting Haden back should help the secondary — although these blown coverages are ridiculous. At least the Steelers’ offense is now getting warmed up.

    Been harping on this for a while now — but Carnell Lake and, to a lesser extent, Joey Porter have got to go. When Kevin Greene said he was available to help out after Porter’s issue in the playoffs last season came up — I really wished Tomlin had jumped on that opportunity.

    At least this was a W. An ugly W — but a W nonetheless.

    • Kelechi Anozie // November 27, 2017 at 12:21 PM // Reply

      I disagree with this assertion that Lake and Porter must go, if anything, they need to stay.

      Firstly, regardless of what you say defensively this game and last game, the Steelers defense still ranks among the best in the NFL; a big part of that is due to the linebackers and secondary whom for the most part, have been quite good.

      Secondly, suppose that that had new coaches, I don’t believe it would have resulted in anything different than what you’re seeing not. As I said before, this time of the year is the most difficult as the mental demands heighten, which affects their performance on the field. The missed tackles is something that many teams don’t do well as I observed in a majority of the games I viewed. Secondary issues are also very common, even the Jaguars who statistically have the best secondary unit, lost last night to the Cardinals.

      The answers to their issues right now isn’t to change up the coaching staff, if anything, that would just make things worse.

      One thing I’ll say about this fanbase, we devoted and quite spoiled; even with a 9-2 record, we continually look for ways to discredit people on this team, if they are perceivably flawed in our eyes. This “get rid of him” culture has to change because it contradictory to the culture of loyalty the Steelers have fostered since the beginning.

      • Burgher in California // November 27, 2017 at 2:07 PM // Reply

        With an attitude like that then I’m sure you’d rather have Jack Bicknell Jr., who was replaced after one season, than Mike Munchak as offensive line coach — who only ended up taking a collection of high draft picks that was playing poorly and got them to perform to their potential.

        The Steelers secondary play has been awful for years now. Can’t defend. Can’t tackle. Can’t even draw the right angles on guys while pursuing. And that’s even after the Steelers have invested quite a bit in it. Some high picks. Various types of signings. Yet it still stinks.

        After a while anybody with an objective mind has to begin to look at the chef — because, just like with the offensive line, the ingredients are there.

        • Kelechi Anozie // November 27, 2017 at 2:57 PM // Reply

          Hmm so you’re essentially asserting that my point of view on this is not objective because I don’t perceive it your way? Where do I begin.

          Firstly, the Steelers as a unit have had problems tackling way before Porter and Lake came onto the team as coaches; you probably go back as far as the early 2000s. I would advise you do some research on that.

          Secondly, this season, they have actually been much better than you think. You can downgrade them all you like; the fact is that they rank 3rd in the NFL in passing yards allowed; all season long, they’ve ranked no lower than 4th in the NFL. They are by no means perfect, but this you noted idea of firing the coaches to improve this area of the defense is ridiculous; it shows that you’re not viewing this objectively at all. I believe you need to also review what a Linebacker coach and Defensive back coach’s job entails, rather than assume that they’re just present to teach ‘professional players’ techniques they’ve been groomed to do since high school.

          Let me ask you, suppose if they were to fire Porter and Lake, and tackling issues didn’t improve at all, what would assume the solution would be at this point? Continue firing and replacing coaches in the hopes that somehow it gets fixed? Then you fall into a bigger issue, stability.

          The irony in this discourse, is that much of what you’ve been saying is purely subjective. No one ever said that this team’s defense didn’t have issues, but what you’re saying about the secondary as it pertains to this season, doesn’t correlate to their ranking and to the fact that this team is 9-2; unless you know better than the stats.

          Keep this in mind, much of this season, the Steelers has a team has been riding the coattails of the defense which has kept them in games. The only exception would be the Titans game when the offense finally broke through; aside from that if you’ve been paying attention, it’s been the defense featuring the secondary.

          All in all, this idea that they can’t tackle and draw right angles in pursuits, is pretty much issues which are not just exclusive to this secondary; it’s a passing league and this more prevalent than you think. The Patriots (the team you noted in your original post) are an excellent example of that, as their secondaries are near the bottom in these categories, but it hasn’t stopped them from winning games. Knit pick all you like, but the secondary you see now is likely what you’re gonna get so get used it.

      • To my way of thinking, Artie Burns got caught up over-thinking everything against the Packers. I believe that with the other corner more exposed during Haden’s absence, he keeps trying, at least visually and mentally, to be all over the field. It has made him more of a guesser and more susceptible to head fakes by the QB and jukes by opposing receivers. When he guesses wrong he really gets burned. When he gets juked, he misses tackles that turn into large YAC opportunities.

  3. If either one of you think you can evaluate the work of assistant coaches by watching games on TV, I’d say you’re both borderline delusional.

    But to assert that two assistant coaches on defense should be fired is flat-out idiocy.

    • Kelechi Anozie // November 27, 2017 at 4:05 PM // Reply

      By no means should the coaching even be touched as Lake and Porter has done a formidable job coaching their respective units. There definitely many aspects to improve within the units, but the coaching is definitely NOT one of them.

  4. All is good especially if Haden gets back for the NE game. I just don’t see why everyone complains about the wins. It’s the NFL, any team on any give Sunday, except for maybe Cleveland. Every week you see this so it’s no surprise when the Steelers have a tight game against a seemingly weaker team.

    Besides, we are playing with a below average QB according to some and as we all know the NFL is a QB league. With our below average QB the team is 9-2…..hmmmm, maybe some people will wise up but then again I doubt it.

    • The numbers support that Ben has been below average. AB bailed Ben out last night. I know you like to ignore facts that disprove your unsubstantiated opinions.

      In Jim Barbe’s world Trent Dilfer was a superstar.

      You are right about one thing, people should be happy about the record.

      • mark delsignore // November 28, 2017 at 10:19 PM // Reply

        AB bailed out Ben? WHAAAAAAT?

        Did you catch that fantastic catch that AB had to set up the winning FG? Did you see who threw the ball to him?

        It was a fantastic catch for sure — top 2 all weekend and maybe top 30 all time — but the throw was — perfect!!

        AB Balied out Ben?

        Come on, Man??!!

    • Ben is rated 18th in QBR. That system is flawed since it has Brady, Smith, Brees, Rodgers and Wentz in the top of the rankings. Oh wait that shows it is a valid rating system. Keep up your snark Jim, it suits you. I’ll just keep posting facts to prove you wrong.

      The question is will you run and hide like you normally do when proven wrong.

      • You are beyond help. Hide, lol….you just really aren’t worth my time Loop. Stick to minor league baseball, your specialty, You can have the floor. I know how it pains you to have to watch Ben play.

        • I’m not worth your time yet you reference me. That really makes your point.
          It doesn’t hurt me to watch Ben play. He’s one of my favorite players of all time.

          Ben is done as an elite QB. He’s played below average this year. That’s a fact. You can deflect all you want, but I have the facts on my side. Same old Jim get beat in a mini debate and resort to insults. Here’s an idea for you, grow up.

    • mark delsignore // November 28, 2017 at 10:21 PM // Reply

      “All is good especially if Haden gets back for the NE game.”

      Correct-a-mundo Jim.

  5. Kevin Schafer // November 27, 2017 at 9:09 PM // Reply

    The Steelers biggest problem at the moment is that Artie Burns is now a target for opponent quarterbacks.

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