The Packers are set to face the Steelers in Pittsburgh for the last home game of their three-game homestand, with both teams coming off Week 9 wins. The Steelers, having enjoyed a mini bye week with 10 days of rest after beating the Titans 20-16 on Thursday Night Football, are gearing up to take on the Packers, who secured a 20-3 victory against the Rams.
Both teams share a common approach to winning—solid defense and a focus on running the football. Despite the struggles of both starting quarterbacks and offenses this year, expectations for this game remain the same.
What to anticipate from the Steelers' Offense vs. the Packers
In the previous week, we got a sneak peek into the potential of the Steelers' offense, especially noticeable during the offense's first drive. Their trademark fourth-quarter magic once again played a pivotal role in sealing the win. To replicate success against the Packers, they need another strong start.
The run game's effectiveness, along with contributions from Broderick Jones, needs to be harnessed to set up Kenny Pickett. Expect more involvement in the downfield passing game, with disgruntled George Pickens likely to get early and frequent touches.
While the Packers' secondary has been tough against deep completions, Kenny Pickett will try to exploit Green Bay's safety tandem for more explosive plays. The passing game has lacked both consistency and aggression in recent weeks, and there's a definite need for improvement. I anticipate a shift toward a more assertive approach, with an expectation of more downfield shots than what we've grown accustomed to thus far.
How will the Steeler's defense fare Sunday?
Defensively, the Steelers need to stop the Packers' running game, led by Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. Green Bay relies heavily on the run, and the Steelers can't afford to blow any leads, considering the Packers want to grind defenses down and chew up as much clock as possible. Jordan Love's struggles and limited downfield success mean the Packers often resort to screen passes and play action, areas where Cam Heyward and the defensive front must excel.
Despite the Packers' challenges in downfield success, they're expected to test the Steelers' secondary, particularly targeting Christian Watson. Joey Porter Jr. will play a crucial role in shadowing Watson, forcing other receivers to step up. Ideally, the Steelers want the opposing offense playing catch-up, allowing their pass rush, led by TJ Watt, to take over. We haven't seen the defense play with a lead much, but Sunday offers a chance to see how the deadly front seven can wreak havoc.
Final thoughts and predictions
In a season marked by offensive struggles for both teams, this game is likely to be another defensive battle. With the home advantage and the return of the throwback jerseys, the Steelers are poised to come out on top. A win before facing the Browns and Bengals on the road will provide a significant boost. Prepare for yet another nerve-wracking, exhausting, typical Steelers-style close game this Sunday.