6 takeaways from Packers’ 27-17 win over Steelers

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The Green Bay Packers are now 3-1 after dispatching the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Matt LaFleur’s team overcame an opening touchdown drive from the Steelers by taking control of the game during the second and third quarters. Aaron Rodgers ran for a touchdown and connected with Randall Cobb for two more as the Packers scored 27 of the game’s 30 points during the middle two quarters.

Here are all the top takeaways from the 27-17 win over the Steelers:

Surviving a tough stretch

(AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

The 49ers and Steelers might not be the best teams in football, but both feature destructive defensive fronts capable of taking over the game. The Packers beat both – and scored 57 points in the two games – without All-Pro David Bakhtiari and Pro Bowler Elgton Jenkins. Don’t underestimate this feat. Each game could have been trouble considering the talent on the two defensive lines, but the Packers gave up only four sacks total and were hardly overmatched at the line of scrimmage. In fact, it wouldn’t be outrageous to say the Packers offensive line came out the winner in each matchup. Huge props to offensive line coaches Adam Stenavich and Luke Butkus for getting an inexperienced offensive line ready to compete against two of the best defensive fronts in football.

Running back tandem gets going

Green Bay Packers running back A.J. Dillon (28).

The Packers got the fully realized form of Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon as a running back tandem on Sunday. The offense ran 72 plays, and almost 34 – or almost half – ended up in the hands of either Jones or Dillon. The two produced 196 total yards, and both had an explosive play in the run game and the passing game. Dillon carried a season-high 15 times for 81 yards. He was the hammer late in the game. Jones was mostly bottled up as a runner but broke out with 51 receiving yards. Having both on the field at the same time created a few chunk gains. The Packers might be at their best as an offense when both Dillon and Jones are getting around 15 touches a game.

Cobb to the rescue

Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Randall Cobb, now 31, was never going to replace Marquez Valdes-Scantling as a deep threat, but Matt LaFleur is so often at his best as a playcaller when attempting to mitigate the loss of an important player. In stepped Cobb to play more snaps, and he delivered big play after big play from the slot for the Packers. He caught all four of his targets on third down, converting three for first downs and a fourth for a touchdown. He moved the sticks twice on third down on the Packers’ first touchdown drive, and his 23-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-10 provided the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. Once slowed by never-ending lower-body injuries, Cobb once again looked quick off the ball and in and out of breaks on Sunday. His role should expand, even when Valdes-Scantling returns.

Takeaways keep coming

Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Kenny Clark (97).

After failing to turn over the Saints in Week 1, the Packers now have two takeaways in each of the last three games. The defense delivered an early strip sack of Ben Roethlisberger, leading to the go-ahead touchdown in the second quarter. And when the Steelers attempted to make a late comeback, Eric Stokes slammed the door shut with an interception. Pittsburgh was also 0-for-2 on fourth down. For the second time in three weeks, the defense allowed only 17 points. It hasn’t always been perfect, but the Packers are going to win most games when the defense allows 17 points and gets two takeaways. Also, the run defense has allowed under 70 rushing yards in back-to-back weeks.

Better to be lucky than good?

Green Bay Packers special teams cordinator Maurice Drayton.

Three plays could have changed the game in a big way for the Steelers. Twice, veteran Ben Roethlisberger missed JuJu Smith-Schuster for big plays and potential touchdowns down the field. The quarterback gap was substantial on Sunday. Roethlisberger’s accuracy on anything over 5-10 yards down the field was horrendous, and that offense can’t afford many misses. With competent quarterback play, the Steelers would have been right there at the end. Of course, the Packers also got a huge break before the half when officials flagged Joe Haden for offsides on the blocked field goal. The call created a 10-point swing – taking away seven points for the Steelers and giving the Packers a second shot at kicking the field goal – in a game that ended up in a 10-point victory.

Injury situations

Green Bay Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander (23) is carted off the field.

The severity of Jaire Alexander’s shoulder injury will obviously be in the spotlight all week. He’s indispensable, and the Packers defense – already without Za’Darius Smith – probably can’t afford to lose another All-Pro for a significant amount of time. Another injury to monitor: the shoulder injury for Preston Smith. He exited the game and was questionable to return, but he did come back into the contest and was clearly playing through pain. He certainly wasn’t 100 percent. The Packers better hope he doesn’t have anything that could keep him out because the depth at outside linebacker is almost non-existent at this point. Matt LaFleur’s team is beat up, and Sunday’s game in Cincinnati will be a challenge.

1

1

1

1