As the Green Bay Packers welcomed in the Pittsburgh Steelers for their Week 4 matchup, many people were wondering how Green Bay would show up in this early season matchup between two postseason-bound teams. But after Green Bay’s 27-17 victory, they may be the only team out of this matchup that makes the postseason this year.
The Packers controlled the vast majority of the game, even though Pittsburgh did come out and score on the game’s opening drive. When wide receiver Diontae Johnson beat Jaire Alexander on a deep ball, Ben Roethlisberger found him deep and quickly got the Steelers on the board, 7-0.
Even though it did take two drives for the Packers to finally put points up on the board, they did respond, and in a strong manner. Their second drive of the game, which transpired over 13 plays and 54 yards, took up just under five minutes and resulted in a rushing scamper for Aaron Rodgers from four yards out.
This drive was the first of five consecutive scoring drives for the Packers, with the streak lasting through their second drive of the second half.
Green Bay’s next drive was one with a very short field, as Kingsley Keke forced a fumble of Roethlisberger deep in PIT territory, letting the Packers set up shop at the PIT 23. Four plays later, Rodgers connected with third-down conversion machine Randall Cobb for his first score since returning to Green Bay, and his first of the day.
Both teams traded field goals on their next drives before the half, with Green Bay taking a one-touchdown lead into halftime, 17-10.
Coming out of half, the Packers had the ball and put up another field goal, this time from 29 yards out – this score culminated a strong 12-play drive that took up five-and-a-half minutes, quickly cutting into any chances the Steelers had of getting back into the game.
PIT’s next drive started a bad trend of non-scoring drives, as the Steelers produced four consecutive and five total scoreless drives in the second half, only scoring points on their second-to-last drive of the game.
A short punt (20 yards) by the Steelers gave the Packers great field position yet again, which saw Green Bay turn into their final TD of the game, as Rodgers connected with Cobb for his second score of the day, this time on a one-yard pass.
The next six drives (three for each team) resulted in no points, three turnover on downs, and two punts, slowing down the fast pace that this game was following in the first half.
The Steelers scored the final points of the game running no huddle, as rookie RB Najee Harris leaped over the pile and scored from one yard out, bringing it back to a two-score game, and ultimately the game’s final score.
After Green Bay punted the ball back to the Steelers with a chance to make the game a one-possession affair, Roethlisberger found rookie CB Eric Stokes, who was a regular target in the PIT passing attack. Stokes was matched up on Johnson (after the injury that knocked Jaire Alexander out of the game), and he responded by hauling in his first career interception on an underthrown ball from Roethlisberger.
Rodgers came in and kneeled the game out, sending the Packers to their third consecutive win on the year.
Three of the next four games for the Packers are on the road, as they will travel to Cincinnati and Chicago for consecutive weeks, followed by a home affair against Washington, followed up by a trip out west to face the currently-undefeated Arizona Cardinals.
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23