On Sunday night, two of the NFL’s iconic franchises meet at Heinz Field when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Green Bay Packers. The Packers at 5-5 have lost four out of their last five games with Brett Hundley at quarterback in place of Aaron Rodgers. They are currently one game out of the final wild card spot in the NFC and they come into Sunday’s game as 14 point underdogs. The Packers are also coming off a 23-0 loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens. This game seems like it is mission impossible for them, but anything can happen in the NFL.
Here are my observations on the Steelers Week 12 Opponent: The Green Bay Packers
Packers on Offense
Hundley has struggled to fill the shoes of Aaron Rodgers, but in his defense who can? Hundley has only thrown two touchdowns and seven interceptions with a passer rating of 63.3, which is 34th among qualifying quarterbacks in the league.
The man who will most likely be the featured back for the Pack will be Jamal Williams, who will be filling in for the injured Ty Montgomery. Montgomery will likely be out Sunday due to rib injuries with fellow rookie Aaron Jones also out. The Packers game plan is to try to run the ball with Williams and use Hundley’s ability to use his legs with bootlegs and waggle plays to try to get the ball to Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson. The only chance that the Packers have at being competitive is to try to shorten the game and to sustain drives without turning the ball over.
Player to watch: Hundley
If Hundley turns the ball over this game will be a rout. Plain and simple. Hundley’s ten turnovers are more than Rodgers eight turnovers in 2016.
Packers on Defense
The Packers have been strong against the run in the past few games, including only allowing 58 yards to the Ravens last Sunday. However, the Packers may be without their best players on defense. LB Clay Matthews and Morgan Burnett are questionable with groin injuries.
The Packers have not performed badly on defense. However, they have not done enough to aid their struggling offense with “splash plays” to help them consistently win games. The game plan for the Packers is to make sure they stop Le’Veon Bell first and roll coverages to Antonio Brown to take the chance that Eli Rogers or Martavis Bryant beats them. Nick Perry must find a way to pressure Roethlisberger from the outside and Mike Daniels from the inside to help their secondary.
Player to watch: CB Kevin King
King will have the assignment of covering Brown. The first round pick out of Washington has been dealing with a shoulder injury and his ability to use press coverage may be compromised when covering the ever shifty Brown.
I think that the Steelers will take advantage of a banged up pass defense with big games from Bryant and Jessie James, as the Packers will do their best to neutralize Brown. Also, the Steelers will make a few splash plays on defense to give the offense a short field to give the Steelers a 34-13 victory.