Packers vs. Steelers: 3 key matchups to watch in Week 4

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 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.

Sunday will be a first for Aaron Rodgers. Never in his 17-year career has the Green Bay Packers quarterback started a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lambeau Field. Off to a 1-2 start, the Steelers want nothing more than to make it a losing occasion for Rodgers and the Packers.

Green Bay will be coming off a high from a last-second win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3. They needed the leg of veteran kicker Mason Crosby to boot in a 51-yarder as time expired after holding the lead until the last 37 seconds. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, will desperately be trying to avoid a three-game losing streak.

Led by Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers offense struggled last week against a division rival in the Cincinnati Bengals. He threw two interceptions and was sacked four times against the Bengals, finishing with a passer rating of 35.1. The winning recipe for the Packers could be to send as much pressure as possible at the 39-year-old quarterback.

Before the season, this was viewed as a classic matchup. Both teams were believed to be the cream of the crop of their respective conferences, but with the Steelers tailing off, this game doesn’t have quite the same intrigue as before. However, there are still some great individual matchups worth highlighting.

Let’s take a look.

Packers LT Yosh Nijman vs Steelers edge rushers TJ Watt/Melvin Ingram

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Nijman should see snaps against both of the Steelers’ top pass rushers. Head coach Matt LaFleur said Friday that Elgton Jenkins desperately wants to rejoin his teammate but will be listed as doubtful for Sunday. That means it will be a second straight start for Nijman, who had an impressive debut last week against the 49ers. Nijman did not allow a single pressure against an impressive edge group. Watt is returning from injury and is probably salivating at the possibility of a matchup against an inexperienced tackle. Expect Ingram to also spend time matched up with Nijman after taking 23 snaps on the right edge in Week 3.

Packers LB De'Vondre Campbell vs. Steelers RB Najee Harris

(AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)

A running back vs. linebacker matchup is quite rare, but this is one to keep an eye on. Harris caught 14 passes for 102 yards last week and is already up to 20 receptions on the season. He and Campbell should meet head-to-head on multiple occasions in Week 4, whether it be on the ground or through the air. Through the first three games of 2021, Campbell is Green Bay’s leading tackler. He has done a solid job defending the run and an even better job dropping into coverage. The Packers do-it-all linebacker needs to have another well-rounded week against a high-volume running back.

Packers CB Eric Stokes vs. Steelers WR Diontae Johnson

(AP Photo/Lachlan Cunningham)

Kevin King is unlikely to play for the second consecutive game after falling ill last week and later receiving a concussion diagnosis. Stokes took King’s place out on the boundary, and the team was pleased with the performance of their first-round rookie corner. He allowed only two catches and was called for a borderline pass interference penalty but never looked overwhelmed in his first NFL start. However, this week, he may draw the attention of Pittsburgh’s top pass catcher. Johnson sat out last week’s game with a knee injury but does not have an injury designation leading into Sunday. The Steelers may try to exploit this matchup by feeding Johnson a ton of targets with Stokes in coverage.

1

1