The Green Bay Packers are 2-1 and back home at Lambeau Field to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 4. This is the perfect time for the Green and Gold to blow a team out and reassert their status in the upper tier of the NFC.
If anything, the matchup with the Steelers seems like a potential trap game. Pittsburgh is 1-2 and at the bottom of the AFC North. It could easily be quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s last season — and head coach Mike Tomlin’s, too, if the team doesn’t turn things around and make the playoffs. The team needs a win badly, and Green Bay shouldn’t sleep on them like they did the New Orleans Saints.
So this is the perfect week for the Packers to dominate. Put on a show for the home crowd. I want a two-interception game from the defense. I want the last half of the fourth quarter with Jordan Love throwing screen passes to Kylin Hill and bombs to Amari Rodgers. It’s a perfect setup for a huge success — or a surprising loss.
What the Offense Can Do
Aaron Rodgers should be on a high after last week’s game. The final drive was perfection. His quarterback ratings are still rising after the team’s awful first week, but wins are all that matters. He has 649 yards, six touchdowns, and two interceptions. He is completing close to 70% of his passes. It would be a great time to have another three- or four-touchdown game. MVS finally saw some action last week, and Davante Adams isn’t human. There are plenty of offensive weapons, but there will be a lot of Rodgers-to-Adams connections this year. Rodgers should be able to have his way with this Pittsburgh defense.
Aaron Jones is also already having a great year and is kind of flying under the radar. He has 158 yards and two rushing touchdowns while averaging 3.9 yards per carry. That doesn’t seem so impressive, but it doesn’t include his 10 receptions for 75 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He’s averaging a receiving touchdown every game so far and has five total TDs already.
And this offense is just starting to hit their stride. Randall Cobb and Amari Rodgers still aren’t getting a lot of passes. Robert Tonyan hasn’t been getting the volume he needs yet. Not enough is made of the impressive way this offense changes and adapts every week.
The Steelers’ defense is not 100% either right now. The big name missing is obviously T.J. Watt, who is limited with a groin injury. He might play, but he won’t be the same Watt we are used to seeing. Another one of their linebackers, Alex Highsmith, is also limited with a groin injury. One of their defensive tackles, Carlos Davis, has been out with a knee injury. Getting the Steelers while they are banged up on both sides of the ball is good for Green Bay.
What Defense Can Do
And speaking of injuries on both sides, the Steelers’ offense is also not 100%. Roethlisberger did not practice much this week with a pectoral injury. Two of their receivers, Juju Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson, are questionable. Even if they play, Chase Claypool will be the team’s primary focus. They will still have to watch out for Smith-Schuster and Johnson, but rib and knee injuries are no joke.
It’s going to be a big game for the Packers’ defense. With cornerback Kevin King and linebacker Krys Barnes still sidelined with concussions, all eyes will be on Eric Stokes and De’Vondre Campbell again. Both players were fantastic against the San Francisco 49ers and could be impact players for the Packers if they continue at this pace. It was a breath of fresh air to see some new guys play great and bring passion to the defense.
Kenny Clark has been worth every penny so far of his new contract.
The Steelers’ offensive line is also not spectacular. Through Week 3, Big Ben has been hit 23 times already. That comes in as the fourth-highest right now. And with players like Clark, Preston Smith, and Rashan Gary already getting to the quarterback with better offensive lines, the Steelers might be in trouble. There are plenty of problems with the Packers’ defense right now, too, but getting pressure on the quarterback this week shouldn’t be too hard.
The Packers should win on Sunday at home against Pittsburgh. It has a chance to be a close game or even a trap game because the Steelers are hungry to turn their season around. But what should happen is Green Bay easily defeating them. A lot of problems are manageable when you are winning, and soundly beating the Steelers not only keeps the Packers on top of the division, but it would remind everyone they’re among the best in the entire NFC.