The Green Bay Packers are coming off of a much-needed win against the Rams at home that saw them break a losing streak. In week ten, they head to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers. Here are five things to watch for.
Which Offense Gets Going?
While the Packers saw their first touchdown in multiple games in the first half last week, they will look to continue that trend this upcoming week. The Packers rank last in average points scored in the first half of games at 4.5 points, and the Steelers aren’t much better, as they rank 28th. Starting off with momentum in games is always the goal, but it could prove to be huge this week as both teams are better in the second half. With the Packers ranking first in second-half points scored on average and Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett seeing his passer rating spike positively in the fourth quarter, getting out to an early jump will be key to winning this game.
Can The Defense find more success?
The Packer defense is coming off their best game of the year, arguably, and have seen themselves limit opposing offenses to under seventy rushing yards total for the past two weeks. With Najee Harris, and Jaylen Warren on the opposite side of the ball this week, they will extend that streak to three games. The Defense has also seen a big increase in their pass rushing when they run a four-man or five-man front. That will be something to watch this week as well to see if they run more penny fronts against Pickett and make him beat them with his decision-making and arm, which has been below average all year except in the fourth quarter.
Will Aaron Jones be utilized heavily again?
Matt LaFleur finally let Aaron Jones loose last week with twenty carries and twenty-four touches total between the rushing and passing game. This decision proved what many, including myself, have been saying all year and opened up the passing game for the Packers. Aaron Jones needs to be touching the ball that much in order for this team to have success moving the ball efficiently.
Will The Creativity Continue?
Matt LaFleur had a different approach last week, drawing up some creative plays to get their weapons involved. One thing that will help this team is simplicity, which is designed to let Love make decisions and read quickly. While the plays over the middle are still lacking, spreading the ball around to your playmakers after establishing the run game was a nice thing to finally see last week. Coming in against a Pittsburgh defense that is especially strong in the front seven will be an excellent test for the Packers this week, and it will be interesting to see if the scheme responds to what is thrown at them.
Can Jordan Love build off last week’s performance?
Jordan Love had arguably his cleanest second half of football this year and played an excellent game all around this past Sunday, but the thing to watch is if he can stack multiple games. While this all doesn’t fall solely on Love, as it is the whole team that needs to stack this next game, seeing improvements in ball security and decision-making has been nice to see. One example is the hard count last week, where you can see Love force the defense to commit, showing their scheme, then adjusting the play at the line and hitting Dontayvion Wicks for a nice quick gain off the adjustment for a first down. In comparison, it isn’t always big plays that show development, and it is something that Packer fans should be able to look forward to seeing more of.