The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will face off in Week 4 on Sunday afternoon at 3:25 pm CT. The game will take place at Lambeau Field, and it will be a rematch of Super Bowl XLV.
Coming into this week’s contest, the Packers are 2-1 while the Steelers are reeling at 1-2 after back-to-back losses. As the Packers look to get their third win of the season, here are a few things to keep an eye on.
Pittsburgh Offense vs. Packers Defense
The Steelers offense has the makings to be one of the worst in the NFL, and that all starts with Ben Roethlisberger. Charles McDonald of the USA Today had this to say about Big Ben: “Every week Roethlisberger looks worse and worse, playing a brand of football so despicable it must be legislated out of the league. Looking at his stats is one thing, but they only paint the picture of a quarterback who’s merely below average instead of a carbonized mannequin.”
Backing that up, his numbers are not pretty to look at. He ranks 25th in the league with 6.2 yards per attempt, and his Next Gen Stats chart below shows a quarterback unwilling to push the ball downfield at all.
Big Ben’s lack of mobility is going to create many opportunities for the Packers defense to take advantage of. Hopefully, they can build on their success from last week against San Francisco.
Rookie running back Najee Harris is the focal point of the Steelers offense. So far, he has 20 catches on 27 targets for 149 yards and a touchdown. On Sunday’s loss, he was targeted a ludicrous 19 times, including this complete give up of a play by Big Ben on fourth down.
Big Ben threw it zero yards on 4th and 10??? pic.twitter.com/QQTOnNJE1p
— Tyler Rehm (@tylerrehm) September 27, 2021
Interestingly, the Packers are tied for the fewest missed tackles in the NFL. Their ability to limit yards after the catch is going to be crucial in this matchup. Packers linebacker De’Vondre Campbell has been a welcome addition to this defense, and PFF has credited him with giving up 15 catches for only 73 yards.
Packers Offensive Line vs. Steelers Pass Rush
Undrafted left tackle Yosh Nijman made his first career start against the 49ers last week, and while he had some ups and downs, he played admirably against a very stout defense. It doesn’t seem like Elgton Jenkins will be back to play, so we expect Yosh to get his second start.
The Steelers have a very impressive pass rush, bolstered by TJ Watt and Cameron Hayward, so Rodgers and the offensive line will have to come up with a game plan similar to last week’s. As noted previously, we expect the quick passing game to continue to thrive for the Packers.
For all that Aaron Rodgers has accomplished, he’s never played against the Steelers at Lambeau Field. It’s also the longest time between matchups of Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in history, at 10 years and 239 days. Of course, the last time Rodgers played against Pittsburgh, we enjoyed the outcome.