SNF: PITTSBURGH STEELERS vs GREEN BAY PACKERS
PITTSBURGH STEELERS vs GREEN BAY PACKERS
By: Robert L. Porter Jr.
This game is between two teams going in opposite directions. Green bay minus all world QB Aaron Rodgers doesn’t even look like the same team. On the other side of the field is the Ben Roethlisberger led Steelers who look to be a perennial Super Bowl threat. LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown are still 2 of the NFL’s top players. This may be a long night for the Packers
A big return of the opening kick by Martavis Bryant sets the Steelers up with good field position to start this one off. Big Ben moved his team into scoring range quickly and on a 4th & goal play from the 1 yard line Ben finds Xavier Grimble for a TD. Boswell would miss the PAT so the score is 6-0 Pittsburgh. A Steelers penalty on the following kick off puts Green bay at the 40 yard line to start their first drive of the contest. Jamaal Williams looks to be the early focal point as he sees 4 touches but after a hands to the face call keeps the drive alive, Brett Hundley finds Randall Cobb for a 39 yard TD on a busted coverage, Green bay now leads 7-6. With Big Ben driving his team looking to retake the lead, Damarious Randall jumps in front of one of his passes for the interception. Hundley and his guys take the field at their own 45 yard line. A short Williams run then an incompletion puts them in 3rd & 9. A well timed screen pass to Williams and a beautiful sprint gives Hundley another easy TD pass, this one’s from 54 yards out. Pittsburghs secondary seems to be having issues as it looked as if another missed assignment was the cause of that score. Its now 14-6 Packers. A few short plays to Bell puts the Steelers in a 3rd & short as the 1st quarter comes to an end.
To start the quarter, the Steelers moved just inside Packers territory but a bad drop by Eli Rogers brought an end to the drive and they were forced to punt. The kick pins Green bay at the 5 yard line and they couldn’t do much and went 3 & out. The Steelers next drive was the Big Ben show. He finds Antonio Brown on an IN route for a huge catch and run. The very next play was a beautifully arched pass over top to Bryant for a 17 yard TD. Ben would also find Brown for the 2pt conversation to tie the game up at 14-14. The next Packers drive was fairly short, Hundley picked up a first down with his feet but didn’t muster much else as they punt the ball back to Roethlisberger and his offense. Looking for points before the half, Big Ben took a trip back in time with a 14 yard scramble but his efforts wouldn’t put his team in scoring position. They punted to Green bay with 1:06 remaining until halftime. The Packers run the hurry up offense but wasn’t able to do much with it as this surprising first half comes to an end with the score all tied up at 14.
The 2nd half starts with the Packers getting the first crack at it. Its more Jamaal Williams to open this half as he touches the ball on 4 of the teams 6 plays. They drive was only 6 plays long because Green bay and Hundley called a pump and go that got Davante Adams behind the defense for a 55 yard TD, its Hundleys 3rd TD pass of the contest and Green bay breaks the tie and makes the score 21-14. Ben comes out after the long Packers TD looking to tie this game up but all he found was Blake Martinez for his 2nd pick thrown. This one was a screen pass to LeVeon Bell that was tipped up into the air and now Green bay comes on the field trying to take a 2 score lead. After two sacks by the Steelers defense moves them in the wrong direction, Mason Crosby comes on to attempt a 57 yard field goal. The kick isn’t close as it flutters short and wide left. Roethlisbergers 2nd turnover doesn’t end up hurting his ball club and they retake the field. The short game with Bell was the key on the next drive as runs and dump offs to him moved them down the field with ease. The drive would be capped off with a fade route from Ben to Brown from 1 yard out to knot this one up once again, this time its 21-21. The Packers recieve the kick and 3 plays from them goes next to nowhere and as the 3rd quarter expires, they prepare to kick it away. We have a real contest on our hands as we head to the final quarter of this surprising Sunday night treat.
Green bay punts to Pittsburgh and the Steelers start their march for points and the lead. After a few nice plays from Bell, he gets caught up in traffic and loses the ball. The fumble is pounced on by the Packers as that is the 3rd Steelers turnover of the game. Hundley and Green bay goes 3 & out after recovering the Bell fumble and kick it back to the Steelers. Mike Tomlin’s offense comes out looking very sharp as they have looked to have turned IT on. Ben carved up Dom Capers defense and closes the drive with a TD pass to Antonio Brown from 33 yards out. Pittsburgh takes a 28-21 lead with 8:42 left to play. Hundley started his next possession with a look of determination as he zings passes into tight spots all over the field. He’s looking sharp as he moves is team into scoring position. Green bay gets inside the Steelers 10 yard line and Jamaal Williams ties the game up at 28 just ahead of the 2 minute warning.
Pittsburgh takes the field with 2:02 remaining. A completion to a crossing Eli Rogers is how we get to the 2 minute break. The first play after the warning was another crossing route, this time to Antonio Brown. Ben looks calm and cool as he takes his time and moves the chains but a few near misses forces them to punt the ball back to Hundley. With 80 seconds in the game Green bay takes the field looking to complete the upset. A T.J. Watt sack on first down brings an end to the Packers trying to win this one in regulation. A quick 3 & out has them punting back to the Steelers. With 17 seconds and 2 timeouts, Ben slings a bullet to Brown putting them at the Packers 47. Another pass to Brown moves them to the 33 yard line with 9 seconds. A loss on the next pass by Bell makes it a 53 yard Chris Boswell attempt with 4 seconds left on the clock. The snap and hold are good, the kick is up and Boswell bangs it through to give the Steelers a 31-28 win in a game that no one thought would be this close.
STARS OF THE GAME
Ben Roethlisberger – 33/45 351 yards 4 TDs 2 INTs
LeVeon Bell – 20 carries 95 yards, 12 rec 88 yards
Antonio Brown – 10 rec 169 2 TDs
Martavis Bryant – 4 rec 40 yards 1 TD
Brett Hundley – 17/26 245 yards 3 TDs
Davante Adams – 5 rec 82 yards 1 TD
Jamaal Williams – 21 carries 66 yards, 4 rec 69 yards 2 total TDs
STEELERS 31 – PACKERS 28