Never doubt Aaron Rodgers. The Boogeyman never wavered in the last 37 seconds. Shocking to most, while the rest of Packer nation has become accustomed to this legendary feat. Although Aaron Rodgers spoils Green Bay with tremendous comeback drives, its going to take a gritty performance Sunday to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. I am sure everyone is salivating after seeing the Steelers lose to Cincinnati last week which resulted in the Packers being favored by a touchdown in this game. Not so fast. Pittsburgh returns their edge rush tandem in Alex Highsmith and the all-time greatest coulda shoulda woulda draft pick TJ Watt. Could’ve had every hall of famer too if we only drafted them before someone else. Move on, we drafted Kevin King and he has been serviceable.
As for Sunday, King and a host of others are in doubts for playing as the injury bug runs through Green Bay like sniffles in an office after the Halloween party. The most notable change since Week 3 will be the loss of MVS with a hamstring injury. Aaron Rodgers losing the one guy who is uncoverable in a straight line will enable the Pittsburgh coverage to sink down and attack the Packers run game. On the other end, Pittsburgh will be without Chase Claypool who was significantly involved in last week’s game racking up 15 targets and hauling in 9 for 96 yards. Pittsburgh will have to rely on rookie RB Najee Harris to carry the load on the ground and possibly again through the air as he accumulated 14 catches for 102 yards against the Bengals. With rain in the forecast and the speedsters off the field, I am expecting a good old-fashioned slugfest as the makeshift offensive lines try to deliver an edge for their teams.
Aaron Rodgers & Davante Adams
The only concern for Sunday is the TJ Watt, Melvin Ingram, Alex Highsmith rushing attack against the Packers offensive line who will most likely be without Elgton Jenkins for a 2nd consecutive game. Yosh Nijman filled in at left tackle with ease as he took on one of the leagues premier rushers in Nick Bosa. Pittsburgh is tied for 19th in points allowed to quarterbacks; they have played Josh Allen, Derek Carr and Joe Burrow in their first few contests. Expect Aaron to carve up Pittsburgh with a steady dose of Davante Adams with sprinkles of the supporting cast. Pittsburgh has struggled to maintain coverage on wideouts surrendering 29 points a game to opposing WRs which positions them at 27th in the league. I am taking the over on anything involving Davante Adams receiving statistics.
Rodgers dials up 275 yards passing and 2 TDs
Davante hauls in 12 catches for 130 yards and 1 TD
Aaron Rodgers props: 253 yards passing 1.5 TDs 22.5 completions
Davante Adams 7.5 catches 92.5 yards receiving
Pittsburgh is allowing an average of 4 catches and 51 yards a game to the opposing TEs. That being said, Week 1 was a modest output from Dawson Knox of Buffalo going 4 for 41. Week 2 put the Steelers against freak athlete Darren Waller who burnt them for 9 for 112 and a score. In their Week 3 loss to Cincy, Pittsburgh held the Bengals tight ends to no catches resulting in a season average of 7 points per game to the position which is good enough for middle of the league. Bobby is better than average and with targets being vacated by MVS, expect Bobby to do what Bobby does. Feast.
Bobby racks up 5 catches for 70 yards and his signature TD
Bobby Tonyan 3.5 catches 31.5 yards
Unfortunately Pittsburgh has been stout against running backs scoring through three weeks even in the absence of their star TJ Watt while also being without Devin Bush. Pittsburgh’s iron tough philosophy has garnered them a top 3 ranking against RBs allowing 9 points per game so far and zero rushing TDs Aaron Jones may be able to surpass the average by stacking catches as a makeshift WR in MVS absence. Jones will be lucky if he eclipses the yardage rushing while easily exceeding the 2.5 catches and 18.5 yards receiving.
Aaron Jones props 16.5 for 63.5 2.5 catches 18.5 yards
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a heavy dose of Mason Crosby as the Pittsburgh defense aims to slow down the GoldZone offense of Green Bay. Rodgers and company won’t be hampered by the slight rain expected as they dealt with the conditions during Week 2’s rout of the Lions. Pittsburgh’s offensive line is moderate at best, and they’ll have to run the ball consistently if they want to keep Rashan Gary and the boys from turning Big Ben into a crumpled mess. One thing is for certain, Big Ben with hot feet is guaranteed to give a pick or two our way and with inclement weather, no doubt the Packers defense turns the tide and seals victory in Lambeau.
Pack survives 23-21 thanks to the long serving leg of Mason Crosby
As always, GO PACK GO!!