Aaron Rodgers wasn’t perfect but he out-played Ben Roethlisberger, and the Packers won the turnover battle 2-to-1. After falling behind 7-0 in the first quarter, the Packers outscored the Steelers 27-3 over the second and third quarters.
Here are the studs and duds from the Packers’ Week 4 win over the Steelers:
(AP Photo/Morry Gash)
WR Randall Cobb: He turned into a third-down machine, coverting four different opportunities with big catches. Two came on the first scoring drive. Another was his 23-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Cobb looked explosive off the ball and quick in and out of breaks. He caught one of Aaron Rodgers’ best throws of the season on a 25-yard in-breaker. Rodgers has such a great feel for where Cobb will be, even in a new offense, and he’s an unstoppable quarterback when he’s throwing on-time with confidence.
RT Billy Turner: For much of the first half and even into the second half, he was tasked with blocking All-Pro T.J. Watt. The boxscore says Watt had a sack, but it came on an obvious tripping incident. With the correct penalty called, and without Rodgers’ give-up slide late in the fourth quarter, Watt would have been shut out. Melvin Ingram, who was working on left tackle Yosh Nijman, had much more impact on the game. Turner is the veteran on the offensive line, and he played like it Sunday. Neutralizing Watt was a huge part of the Packers’ success on offense.
RB A.J. Dillon: His 16 touches gained 97 yards. The Packers fed him the ball early and often, even in the passing game. His 16-yard catch got the ball rolling on the first touchdown drive. Later, his 25-yard burst set up another score. He just rumbles through arm tackles. The Packers fed him four straight time to start a drive in the fourth quarter, and he powered his way to 20 yards. It’s going to be fun to see the Packers use him late in cold-weather games at Lambeau Field.
RB Aaron Jones: He had to really work to get to 48 rushing yards, but his 15-yard run in the first half was, at the time, a season-long for the offense. His biggest plays came in the passing game. He darted 19 yards to help set up the field goal before the half, and a 26-yard catch on a well-schemed play set up another field goal on the first possession of the second half. He quietly led the team with 99 total yards.
LB De’Vondre Campbell: He led the team in tackles again, this time with nine, and once again he made impact plays. He had one of the Packers’ five quarterback hits and one of the Packers’ four pass breakups. He knifed inside a block and helped stop Najee Harris after a two-yard run. Later, he tracked down Diontae Johnson after a short catch for no gain. His biggest play might have been stuffing JuJu Smith-Schuster on fourth down well short of the sticks. His tackling in space has been terrific.
DL Kingsley Keke: His work was non-descript against the run, but Keke made an impact as a rusher. He powered Trai Turner into the backfield and stripped Ben Roethlisberger to create a first-half turnover. Later in the game, he used power again to beat Turner and pressure the Steelers quarterback. The Packers need him to affect games as an interior rusher. He finally showed signs of life on Sunday.
OLB Rashan Gary: His sack of Roethlisberger was a perfect example of his true power as a rusher. He went right through left tackle Dan Moore and tackled Roethlisberger in the pocket while Moore tried to maintain the failing block. Gary also hit Roethlisberger on a pass-rush, and he consistently set a strong edge in the run game. He set the tone early with a stuff on Benny Snell on the third play of the game.
DL Kenny Clark: About once a game, Clark whoops the center and makes a stuff in the backfield of a running back. He had another one – this time for a two-yard loss – on Sunday. He also combined with others to make two other run stuffs, and his pressure/hit on Roethlisberger forced a quick throw on the defense’s second fourth-down stop. His fumble recovery finished off the first takeaway.
P Corey Bojorquez: His first two punts were near perfect. The first was downed by Malik Taylor at the 4-yard line, rewarding Matt LaFleur’s decision to punt from the 40-yard line. His second was booming punt that traveled 57 yards in the air and forced a fair catch. He was punting from his own end zone, but he backed the Steelers up to the 37-yard line. That’s an elite punt.
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
TE Josiah Deguara: He played 24 snaps, and his only meaningful impact on the game was a 10-yard illegal block penalty on the first drive. He’s still getting his feet under him as a blocker after last season’s ACL injury, but he may never be a high-quality in-line blocker.
CB Isaac Yiadom: He played only 18 snaps but still gave up two completions to James Washington, including a 30-yarder setting up the final Steelers. Roethlisberger probably should have challenged him more after the Packers lost Jaire Alexander. To Yiadom’s credit, he was excellent on special teams, delivering a pair of tackles covering kicks.