The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers renew their rivalry at Lambeau Field Sunday in Week 4, and the battle of these historic NFL teams certainly has a lot of headlines swirling around it.
Will the Steelers’ running game ever become a strength of the offense?
Can the return of T.J. Watt help the Pittsburgh defense continue to be dominant?
Are the Packers a legitimate Super Bowl contender?
Among those story lines are players who aren’t talked about often, but can certainly play a role in the outcome of the game. This week I was fortunate enough to ask Acme Packing Company’s contributor Joe Meerdink several questions leading up to the big game Sunday.
One of those questions was if he could give me a player who isn’t being talked about, but could play a big role in who wins and loses the game. He didn’t disappoint and gave a player Steelers fans should become acquainted with heading into Week 4. It should be noted how Valdes-Scantling has been ruled OUT of the game Sunday in Green Bay due to a hamstring injury. However, what Meerdink said about Valdes-Scantling certainly holds weight, but now as a player the Packers will be without.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling averaged nearly 21 yards a catch last season, but the Packers haven’t been able to get him back to his big-play ways so far this year. That’s partly been a factor of game situations, but it’s a little odd that he’s only managed six catches through three games in 2021. In a Packers offense crowded with playmakers, he’s about as under the radar as they come, but all it will take is one deep shot for everyone to remember just how dangerous he can be.
With Valdes-Scantling out of the game Sunday, you have to wonder how that could impact the Packers’ approach. Without Valdes-Scantling, the Packers will still be focused on the key pieces of their offense, in hopes of doing what both Derek Carr and Joe Burrow have done in consecutive weeks, and that being shredding the Steelers’ secondary. It is all based on the Steelers’ ability, or inability, to get to Aaron Rodgers. If T.J. Watt and company can be a presence in the backfield, Rodgers will be in for a long evening. Given time, like both Carr and Burrow received, and Rodgers will pick the defense apart piece by piece.
This will certainly be a matchup to watch as the Steelers hope to end their two game losing streak, and get some mojo back heading into Week 5.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the upcoming game between the Steelers and Packers this Sunday at 4:25 p.m. ET.