PITTSBURGH – The Steelers have won five straight while the Packers have lost four of their last five.
As Pittsburgh looks to stay hot and Green Bay looks to turn things around, here’s a rundown on what to watch for.
Pittsburgh WR Antonio Brown and RB Le’Veon Bell top the league charts at their respective positions, and QB Ben Roethlisberger will do everything in his power to get them both the ball. They’re on pace to put up more than 3,000 combined yards from scrimmage this season, and either one or both can simply take over a game. The Packers have their work cut out to keep them in check. 1. The killer B’s:
2. Injury issues: There’s good news and bad news for Green Bay’s defense in its effort to defend Brown and Bell. Against Brown, rookie CB Kevin King (shoulder) and veteran S Morgan Burnett (groin) are listed as questionable, but a lot of signs this week indicated they would play. But regarding Bell, DT Kenny Clark (ankle) is doubtful and LB Clay Matthews (groin) is likely a game-time decision. Both would be big losses for Green Bay’s run defense.
3. Second chances: Packers QB Brett Hundley and rookie RB Devante Mays both had games to forget last week. Hundley’s four turnovers marked by far his worst performance, while Mays fumbled the ball on his first two NFL carries, losing one. Both are in bounce-back mode heading into a prime-time showdown.
4. Special connection: Over the last five quarters – the fourth quarter in Chicago, plus last week’s game vs. Baltimore – Packers WR Davante Adams has caught 11 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown from Hundley. He’s clearly become Hundley’s go-to guy in the passing game, and how the Steelers try to take him away from the young QB will be worth monitoring.
5. Take it away: Last week, Packers S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix got his first interception since Week 4 and could have had two. Green Bay’s defense could use a couple of turnovers, though Roethlisberger’s five-INT game earlier this season vs. Jacksonville was clearly an outlier. Against Baltimore, Green Bay turned it over five times in a game for the first time in a decade and must protect the ball better.