The Steelers defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-28 on a last second field goal by Chris Boswell. This was supposed to be an easy win for the Steelers but the Packers gave them everything they could handle and more. So did the Packers play a great game or was this a case of the Steelers playing down to their opponent?
Let’s look at the winners and losers:
Rumors of Ben’s death have been greatly exaggerated! Ben started the year very inconsistently and it looked like maybe he was getting too old to be an effective quarterback. But ever since the end of the Indianapolis game on November 12, Ben has been back to his elite self. Tonight he was 33 of 45 for 351 yards, 4 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Many of those incompletions were drops by wide receivers.
Wow. Just, wow. It sounds like a broken record but Antonio Brown had one of the greatest games of his career. Tonight he had 10 receptions, 169 yards, 2 touchdowns. Brown was double-covered on almost every play and still delivers elite performances every week. Another broken record – he had one of the greatest catches of his career late in the game as the Steelers were driving to score the game winning field goal.
With JuJu Smith-Schuster out with a hamstring injury, the role of secondary receiver fell on Martavis Bryant and Eli Rodgers. Bryant took advantage of the opportunity with 4 catches for 40 yards and a touchdown. He’s still not at the level he was a couple years ago, but he has been making significant contributions lately.
Bell had a very busy night running and receiving. He had 20 rushes for 95 yards and 12 receptions for 88 yards. Ben Roethlisberger kept throwing to him as a checkdown when nothing else was open.
He didn’t start the game great, missing an extra point in the first quarter. But when you kick a 53 yard field goal as time expires to win the game, you’re definitely a winner!
The speculation was that the Steelers offensive line would suffer without right tackle Marcus Gilbert, but that wasn’t the case at all. Ben Roethlisberger was only sacked once and the running game was effective.
With 2 sacks tonight, Cam Heyward leads the team with 9 sacks and set a career high. I predicted the Steelers would get a lot of sacks because of Brett Hundley’s experience, and they got 4.
It’s apparent that cornerback Joe Haden is missed badly. The secondary tonight made Brett Hundley look like Brett Favre. He had 3 touchdowns and 245 yards. Artie Burns and Coty Sensabaugh were beaten badly for big plays. If someone like Brett Hundley can do this to the Steelers defense, imagine what Tom Brady can do!
Eli had 3 catches for 21 yards on 7 targets. Eli was counted on to contribute since JuJu Smith-Schuster was out, and he disappointed.