Every week of the Steelers calendar I will focus on one key player on the opposition the Steelers must slow in order to be successful in the game. This week with the Green Bay Packers on deck, we look to the most obvious player in Aaron Rodgers. When Rodgers is off, like he was against the New Orleans Saints in Week 1, the entire Packers machine looks like a mess. But when he is dialed in, the Packers are a legitimate Super Bowl contender. The Steelers will need to attack the star quarterback and make him wish he never made the drive to the stadium on Sunday.
Doing this of course is much easier said than done. Not only does Rodgers have one of the most accurate arms in NFL history, but he also has some of the best pocket presence and quick decision making. The Steelers desperately need to be able to get pressure on Rodgers without blitzing, much like what they did against the Buffalo Bills. Being able to keep more defensive backs in passing lanes, will slow down some of Rodgers drop backs, but it will come down to the defensive line to get him to the turf. Rodgers will gut any defense if he has the time to stand in the pocket and throw.
The name of the game is to frustrate Aaron Rodgers. The only time he is seemingly off is when things just simply won't go in his favor. The Steelers defense will need to orchestrate a beating of Rodgers, and the rest of the defense will need to force turnovers. Both of these things will be hard to do, but this is the formula that has worked against the Packers quarterback in the past. On top of all that, the Steelers will need their stars to play big roles in this game, getting T.J. Watt going in his home state is a massive key in all of this. A historic performance from the youngest Watt in his first professional game in Wisconsin would be a poetic way for the Steelers to win, but winning by any means necessary is the name of the game for these 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Packers offensive line has a number of rookies and sophomores in the lineup, including Josh Myers and Jon Runyan, and this is where the Steelers will be most successful considering the Packers’ tackles include 2020 Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins, and perhaps one of the best offensive lineman in football David Bakhtiari. Perhaps this is the day where Steelers captain Cam Heyward puts on a showing.
But what do you think? Will the Pittsburgh Steelers be able to slow down the reigning NFL MVP? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.