Pregame: Packer Steelers 2017 Week 12

Buckle up for this one, it’s going to be a bump ride. Don’t worry about having all your beer and vodka on the coffee table – you’ll want to be running back an forth to the kitchen a lot during this one.

On Defense
The Steelers have the league’s leading rusher and the league’s leading receiver (Patriots fans would probably say that makes Roethlisberger the GOAT). The Packers defenders will really have their work cut out for them, especially with Kenny Clark doubtful to play. Burnett, King, and CM3 are also questionable. It’s going to be real tough to slow this attack down and, frankly, even with a solid showing last week, I don’t expect them to keep it close. A big part of this is the mental and emotional aspect of the game. I have to imagine the defense has very little faith in the offense, and that makes it a lot harder to give your all.

Hundley’s Journey Continues
Brett Hundley is growing, but it’s possible we’re approaching his ceiling. He hesitates in his decision making, gets tentative after mistakes, and still puts the ball behind his receivers. To top it all off, he is extremely elusive – and that may be a bad thing. After watching Aaron Rodgers perform all manner of outside-the-tackles magic throughout his career, it looks like he’s using his elusiveness to try to line up a “perfect” pass attempt. More than anything, I think this is biggest obstacle. Because he’s athletic, he’s tried to lean on that like he did in college. But his opponents are no longer kids right out of high school. If he can take the short passes in a rhythm game (like he has in the brief streaks of success he’s had), his receivers can make plays. If he hesitates, well… we’ve seen what happens when he hesitates.

Can We Run?
Aaron Jones is out. Ty Montgomery is doubtful. Jamaal Williams is back, leading the way with his bruising 3.2 yard average per carry and a career long run of 8 yards. He’s a nice change of pace power back, but he’s not going far against stacked Hundley boxes. Devante Mays might not even see the field after his fumble clinic last week combined with an ankle injury that is making him questionable this week. I think Brett Hundley will lead the team in rushing yards against the Steelers.

Predictions
The Packers are outclassed in all three phases this week. There is not a lot of hope. If Brett Hundley forgets how to turn the ball over, Davante Adams breaks free on some big plays, Jamaal Williams tops his career long run 4 or 5 times, Trevor Davis figures out what to do with his speed to get some big returns, and the defense plays inspired ball from beginning to end, then there might be a chance. I am predicting zero of those things.

I think the team will play hard for Mike McCarthy in a return home for him, but that wont be enough. They are playing a title contender on the road in prime time. This is what it’s like when you don’t have a great quarterback to title the game every week. The team will play hard, maybe even stay within a score by halftime, but this is going to be a tough game to stay up late for and you’ll have to watch it all if you want to see the possibility of a garbage time touchdown. I don’t think I’ve felt this hopeless about the Packers since 1991. I appreciate the run we’ve had, but this year is a downer, and this game is gonna be rough

Packers 6, Steelers 37

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