Why the Packers Will Beat the Steelers and Why They Might Not

Two weeks ago, the Green Bay Packers were down in the dumps. After three straight losses, the season was on the brink.

On the road, the Packers responded with a win over the Chicago Bears, seemingly giving the team a chance to put the season back on track. But last Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens crushed that dream.

It seemed any hope of a resurgence under backup quarterback Brett Hundley was quashed. A 23-0 loss at Lambeau Field didn’t just dent the Packers’ playoff hopes, it had to damage their psyche.

But crazy things happen in the National Football League. The Packers, who are now 5-5, aren’t dead yet, even if their playoff hopes are on life support.

With the Steelers on tap tonight, back-to-back games against Tampa Bay and Cleveland lend hope to a 7-6 record and a possible return of Aaron Rodgers. Yet, outside of another run-the-table miracle, the playoffs seem impossible.

Unfortunately, so does the task tonight in the Steel City. But here is how the Packers can pull the upset:

Most weeks, it’s pretty easy to generate a few reasons why Green Bay will win. After all, when Rodgers is under center, he is reason enough to expect a win. But without him, the Packers haven’t found an identity.

The defense has played well at times, but when it gets rolling, the offense seems to sputter and vice versa. At the end of the day, the quarterback position drives the ship in Green Bay and without Rodgers in charge, the ship has been sinking.

And this week, Green Bay will get no relief. Pittsburgh can be inconsistent, but the Steelers are on a roll right now. Big Ben is playing at a high level, the defense is doing good things and in terms of skill position players, no team can match Pittsburgh's big three.

To be honest, it’s hard to see a path to a Packers victory, but the same could be said for the Matt Flynn led Packers of 2010, when they traveled to New England to take on Tom Brady and the Patriots.

New England went 14-2 that season and was in the midst of a long winning streak. The Packers were fighting for their playoff lives and without Rodgers for the first since he took over the starting job in 2008.

That night, the Packers played their hearts out and nearly shocked the league by upsetting New England on the road. A late touchdown drive fell short, but still, the Packers proved something that night. They are nobody’s underdogs -- at least not then.

Does this team have that same spirit? That same fight? It hasn’t seemed that way in recent weeks, but a performance like that, is the only way the Packers keep this game competitive, let alone win it.

Why the Steelers might win:

Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are all the reasons you need for explaining why Pittsburgh might win. However, as much attention as the offense gets, the defense is just as good.

The Steelers are fourth in the league in points allowed and second in yards allowed, which could mean a long night for Hundley. Brown is already over 1,000 yards receiving and Bell is close to 1,000 in rushing yards.

Pittsburgh is also extremely well coached. The Steelers, who are 8-2, have won five straight and are looking to keep pace with the Patriots for the top spot in the AFC and the home-field advantage that comes with it.

So with all that is on the line for the Steelers, it’s hard to see Green Bay leaving Pittsburgh with a win, but if the team can restore some confidence and dignity, there may still be hope for the 2017 season, it just won’t include a win tonight.

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Chris is a sports journalist from Montana and has been blogging about the Packers since 2011. Chris has been a staff writer for CheeseheadTV since 2017 and looks forward to the day when Aaron Rodgers wins his second Super Bowl. Follow him @thepackersguru

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Comments (24)

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NickPerry's picture

November 26, 2017 at 05:28 am

Hopefully the wind is blowing 25 mph with gusts up to 45 mph. Hopefully it's raining so hard they get close to 5 inches in the time it takes to play the game. If those things happen the Packers MIGHT be able to hold the Steelers under 20 points and it's not a total embarrassment. If not McCarthy's homecoming is going to get ugly quick, stay ugly, and the Packers lose by 30. Afterword in his presser he'll talk about the faith he has in Hundley despite failing to top 200 yards in total offense.

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EdsLaces's picture

November 26, 2017 at 06:11 am

I tell ya what id like to see.....us score.

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Oppy's picture

November 26, 2017 at 07:43 am

Why would Green Bay win this game? Because it's the type of game they'd win, out of nowhere, with no explanation.

Why would Green Bay lose this game? Because they should.

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Handsback's picture

November 26, 2017 at 08:04 am

Would love the win...but just don't see it happening. I see a close low scoring affair with a chance to win at the end as the best possible outcome for the Packers.

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stockholder's picture

November 26, 2017 at 08:17 am

If the packers win this Game: Toking was permitted. The NFL will be sending them to Holland, and not England. If the packers loose, it will because they wanted to be turkeys on thanksgiving, and not left overs.

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 26, 2017 at 08:54 am

"Why they might not"...

A complete list of reasons might cause an internet outage.

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pacman's picture

November 26, 2017 at 08:58 am

The only thing that remains in GB is 'hope'. There is no way any planning should overcome the difference in talent.

Hope that Hundley finally learns the instinct to get the ball out quickly to the open receiver.

Hope that the defense has one of their best days.

Hope that nobody else goes down with an injury.

More likely it will be an early blow out. We might get to see Callahan in the second half. And then we might get to see why we didn't see him earlier. MM will say that Steelers are a good team and he will be evaluating everybody and be preparing for Cleveland.

My biggest question is - does AR still back MM? I think that is the only hope we have in cleaning house.

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egbertsouse's picture

November 26, 2017 at 09:11 am

I see the only way to get rid of the 3 stooges is for the team to totally quit and roll over and lose every game. Without that TT, MM, and Dim will trot out their old excuses about injuries, pad level miscommunication,etc. which will cause Howdy Murphy and the BOD to look at the cash flow and stand pat.

Therefore, I’m rooting for the tank. Tank it, tank it tank it.......

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Jamie Freier's picture

November 26, 2017 at 10:55 am

Arden Key

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al bundy's picture

November 26, 2017 at 09:39 am

Hey the loss of Rogers exposed this team for what I thought it was a bunch of over achievers in a GB uniforms.
The team lacks a viable pass rush, running game and pass d, the latter still aint fixed after four year.
Thus, they should lose because they lack the players to win.
I dont see one pro bowler on this team.

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Nerd's picture

November 26, 2017 at 11:01 am

We wew 4-6 at this point last year.

Remember that?

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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 26, 2017 at 03:02 pm

Are you trying to cheer us up?

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Duneslick's picture

November 26, 2017 at 05:54 pm

And Aaron Rogers was the QB

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Nerd's picture

November 26, 2017 at 11:01 am

Our playoff hopes are ALWAYS on life support.

Remember last year? Remember the year boefore that? Hell, remember the SB year?

This is how Mike's teams roll.

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Johnblood27's picture

November 26, 2017 at 11:01 am

without Kenny Clark, this defense just lost its best player and they werent that good as a group with him.

40+ to single digits.

This season does remind me of my youth. David Whitehurst or Scott Hunter would be an upgrade.

... just not Randy Wright, please !

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Point-Packer's picture

November 26, 2017 at 12:05 pm

I'd take Mike Tomczak over Brett Hundley in a heart beat.

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flackcatcher's picture

November 26, 2017 at 05:28 pm

I like Randy Wright.

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I bleed green more's picture

November 26, 2017 at 02:17 pm

We all know how things are without Rodgers, it reminds me of the 70s and 80s they better be ready for a contract next year.

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Oppy's picture

November 26, 2017 at 04:16 pm

Random thought directed at anyone who feels it applies to them: When you call people names when you critique someone, be they a player, coach, or just another CHTV user, it makes you sound like a blathering child (As opposed to the slick, tough guy I imagine you must think it projects) and immediately weakens your stance, regardless of any validity your critique may have once held.

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Cartwright's picture

November 26, 2017 at 06:25 pm

Agreed, that is why I will refrain from calling Coach McCarthy, Coach Haystacks no matter how mad I get.

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Point-Packer's picture

November 26, 2017 at 05:44 pm

Right on, Moppy.

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Duneslick's picture

November 26, 2017 at 05:55 pm

Packer Greg says 35 -10 Pittsburgh

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Free agent's picture

November 26, 2017 at 06:35 pm

Packers don’t have the players or the coaches to compete with Pittsburgh.

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