For the first time since 2006, the Green Bay Packers put up a big, fat zero on the scoreboard at home. That game was against a dominant Tom Brady led Patriots team. Last week, the Packers managed to put up a whopping zero points against the Baltimore Ravens who aren’t nearly as good as any Tom Brady team ever, that’s not a good look at all. Traveling to Pittsburgh is exactly what the Packers do not need right now, either. The offense has come to a sputtering halt, the defense can’t stop a nosebleed, and special teams looks dreadful. Heinz Field is a hostile environment for any team, it’s hard to win there when your team is a 100%, and clearly, the Packers are nowhere near that. Rookie sensation Aaron Jones is out again, Clay Matthews is unlikely to play, Ty Montgomery hasn’t practiced all week, Aaron Rodgers is still out, obviously, and defensive standout Kenny Clark is doubtful.
It will be hard to defend the high powered Steelers offense. The big three of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown have given defenses headaches for years now, and Sunday night will be no different for the great defensive mastermind that is Dom Capers (sarcasm by the way.) Yes the Steelers tend to play down to their opponents, as shown by a horrendous loss to Chicago earlier this season, and a close win to the Indianapolis Colts, but it’s when their offense is firing on all cylinders, such as their performance against Tennessee last Thursday, that makes Sunday night’s matchup vs the Packers a blowout in the making. If the Packers can’t stop a Ravens team with little to no offense to speak of, a date with potentially the best offense in the league will be a nightmare.
For the better part of this decade, the Steelers have been led by their offense, which is surprising because, for most of their existence as a franchise, the defense was the reason for all their success. But with key additions such as TJ Watt, Bud Dupree, Ryan Shazier, Joe Haden, and Mike Mitchell the Steelers become Super Bowl contenders once more. The Steelers have benefitted from free agency and the draft to make their defense into a top-five unit once again. Pair that with a top three offense in the league, and you have yourself a prime super bowl contender. The Packers offense vs the Steelers defense is a matchup that heavily favors the latter. It will not be an easy day for Brett Hundley and co. at all.
The good news, the Packers will score points Sunday night. The bad news, it will not be enough to get a win. This Steelers team is the most complete team since their Super Bowl 45 run, yes they would eventually lose to the Packers, but their offense and defense are equally as dominant for the first time since then. Is there a chance they can eek out a win, absolutely, any team can win when given a chance, is it likely, not at all. Sunday night won’t be a fun game to watch, especially if we see the Steelers team we saw last Thursday, but you can never count out any team, anything is possible in the NFL. Steelers win 35-13.