PITTSBURGH, Pa. (WBAY) - As the Green Bay Packers (5-5) get ready to face the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2) it’s time to get ready for kickoff with Dave Schroeder’s ‘Fast 5 Pack Facts.’
#1 Dogging it: The Packers are 14-point underdogs for the first time in 7 years. The last time Green Bay was dismissed so strongly by Las Vegas was at New England in 2010 when Aaron Rodgers was out with a concussion. The Packers, of course, have lost 4 of 5. The Steelers have won 5 in a row and would be the AFC’s top seed if the playoffs started today
#2 Killer B’s: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has struggled throwing 10 interceptions this year, but 5 came in one game against Jacksonville. The other ‘Killer B’s’ have been solid. WR Antonio Brown already has 1,000 yards and leads the league in receiving yards and catches. RB Le’veon Bell leads the league with 886 rushing yards.
#3 Spot of Strength: Enough about the impressive Pittsburgh offense though! The Packers run defense has been great of late, allowing a meager 2.3 yards per carry over the last three games.
#4 R-E-L-A-X: The Packers could lose tonight and still make the playoffs. It sounds crazy, but the NFC Wild Card picture is crazy. And a loss to an AFC team tonight? Better than NFC losses when it comes to tiebreakers.
The Falcons currently own the last WC spot at 6-4, just one game against of the Packers. But Atlanta still has 4 teams with winning records remaining on their schedule (MIN, NO, @ NO, CAR).
The Seahawks are also 6-4 and have 3 teams left remaining with winning records (PHI, @ JAX, LAR).
The must wins for Green Bay start to win after tonight’s Pittsburgh game. Up next? Winnable games at home against Tampa and at Cleveland before Aaron Rodgers is eligible to return.
#5 Hundley’s Issues: Despite a workable way to the playoffs, pessimism surrounds the state of the Packers with QB Brett Hundley at the reins. He is the 34th-highest rated passer in the NFL this year. Hundley has thrown for only 2 TD, offset by 7 INT in 19+ quarters of football.
Jordy Nelson, who has 6 TD catches, has not scored since Hundley took over. His absence on the stat sheet is an indictment of Hundley, who has failed to find the Pro Bowl receiver. 82 NFL receivers have more yards than Nelson’s 92 total since Hundley’s first start in Week 7.
Prediction: Steelers 30, Packers 10
As always, tune in to Sunday Sports Night Cover 2 for the best postgame coverage in the business. As soon as the game ends, flip over to WBAY-TV, our Packers postgame coverage starts at 10:45 (10 minutes later than our normal start time of 10:35).