As the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers prepared to face off at Lambeau Field in Week 4, the two teams couldn’t have come into the contest on different planes. The Packers, who lost in Week 1 to the New Orleans Saints, have won their last two and look like one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Meanwhile, the Steelers, who won in Week 1 vs. the Buffalo Bills, have lost their last two and look like anything but a Super Bowl contender.
The Packers were looking to stay red hot, and the Steelers were just trying to heat up in Week 4, and after Green Bay won the coin toss, it was Ben Roethlisberger and company starting with the football. Unlike the past 11 games, including the playoffs, the Steelers were able to put together a scoring drive.
A drive which was 75 yards in length, and very balanced, equated in Ben Roethlisberger drawing the defense offsides, and a deep play to Diontae Johnson for the score.
The touchdown was Roethlisberger’s 400th of his career, and the Chris Boswell extra point gave the Steelers an early 7-0 lead.
Aaron Rodgers got his chance to match Roethlisberger’s touchdown, but a 3rd down sack by Devin Bush pushed the Packers out of field goal range. The Steelers followed with a three-and-out, and Green Bay put together their best drive of the game, quickly moving into field goal range.
To start the second quarter, the Packers faced a 3rd and 5, which was completed to Randall Cobb giving them a 1st and goal situation. The next play Rodgers scrambled for the game-tying score. With 13:22 left in the second quarter, the score was tied 7-7.
With the Steelers’ defense gassed, a time consuming drive was needed from the Steelers’ offense. When facing a 3rd down and 6, Ben Roethlisberger faced pressure and was sacked, also fumbling on the play. The ball was recovered by Green Bay, setting them up just outside the red-zone for their next offensive possession.
Despite being penalized multiple times, it was only a matter of time until Rodgers struck through the air. His first passing touchdown of the game went to Randall Cobb, and gave the Packers at 14-7 lead with 10:55 left in the first half.
Desperately needing a drive, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers offense was able to deliver. However, the drive which was highlighted by passes to Eric Ebron, James Washington and runs by Najee Harris stalled in field goal range. Chris Boswell’s 52-yard kick banked off the upright and in to make the score 14-10 with 5:41 left in the second quarter.
Rodgers and company remained red-hot, and moved quickly into field goal range. With two timeouts remaining, and 24 seconds left, Rodgers faced a 3rd and 10. Joe Schobert was able to break up the pass, forcing a Mason Crosby field goal. The field goal looked to be blocked, and returned for a touchdown, but a defensive false start gave Crosby another shot. The second kick was good, making the score 17-10 heading into halftime.
Starting with the football to start the second half, the Packers picked up right where they left off in the first half. After an early game punt, the Packers had not be denied points since. This wouldn’t stop in the third quarter when Rodgers went back to work and converted several huge third down plays. But the drive stalled in field goal range, and Mason Crosby was called on to make the score 20-10 with 9:31 left in the third quarter.
With the Steelers’ defense failing to force a punt, pressure was added to Ben Roethlisberger to deliver when it counts. After a first down pass to Najee Harris, the drive stalled and Pressley Harvin III was called on to duty. The rookie punter shanked his punt, giving Green Bay possession at the Pittsburgh 40-yard line.
It didn’t take long for Rodgers to add to the Packers’ lead, finding Cobb again for the Green Bay touchdown. This made the score 27-10 with 4:46 left in the third quarter.
The Steelers’ offense was able to move the ball quickly down the field, with nice plays to both Najee Harris and Diontae Johnson equated in a 4th and 4 for the Steelers, on the cusp of field goal range. The pass to Najee Harris was stopped short, giving the ball back to the red-hot Packers’ offense. However, on the next drive Aaron Jones was hit by Chris Wormley forced a fumble, which was recovered by T.J. Watt.
Coming off the turnover, the Steelers faced a 4th and 4 on the cusp of field goal range. Deciding to go for it, Diontae Johnson was called for a false start, which turned into the decision changing to a Pressley Harvin punt.
With 14:21 left in regulation, Rodgers and the Packers’ offense started at their own 5 yard line, but a rare three-and-out resulted in just the second punt of the game for Green Bay. However, it was more of the same for the Steelers’ offense. Facing a 4th and 5, Roethlisberger hit JuJu Smith-Schuster for a gain of one, turning it over on downs.
Rodgers’ and company were unable to add to their point total, failing on a 4th and 5, giving the ball back to Pittsburgh with 7 minutes remaining in regulation. 65-yards later it was defensive pass interference against Diontae Johnson which put the ball at the one-yard line. From there, it was all Najee Harris going over the top for his first NFL rushing touchdown.
Chris Boswell was good, making the score 27-17 with 4:04 left in regulation.
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay offense did enough to force the Steelers to burn their timeouts, but Roethlisberger and the offense got the ball back with 1:51 left in the 4th quarter, but Roethlisberger’s pass on second down was intercepted.
The loss was the Steelers’ third straight, and moved their record to 1-3 on the season. They now prepare for the Denver Broncos to invade Heinz Field in Week 5. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of the regulation.