GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers (2-1), winners of two straight, are hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-2), losers of two straight, at Lambeau Field on Sunday. Follow along all day for updates.
Packers 27, Steelers 17
Packers 27, Steelers 17 (4:04 remaining)
Najee Harris cleared the pile for a 1-yard touchdown run. A pass interference penalty by cornerback Eric Stokes, his third in two games, came on third-and-6 and gave the Steelers the ball at the 1.
Pittsburgh got the ball when Aaron Rodgers’ pass to a wide-open Davante Adams on fourth-and-4 was broken up teammate Randall Cobb, who tried to make a leaping grab on the ball.
Injury update: Actually, it’s not an update. There has been no announcement of cornerback Jaire Alexander’s injury.
Packers 27, Steelers 10 (2:33 remaining)
On fourth-and-4, Pittsburgh’s short pass to running back Najee Harris went nowhere, with cornerback Jaire Alexander sticking Harris with his shoulder and Oren Burks and Chandon Sullivan cleaning up in the mess.
Injury update: Alexander was injured on the play. When Aaron Jones fumbled away the ball moments later, Isaac Yiadom was in at corner. Before the first snap, Alexander was on a cart and headed to the locker room for further examination.
Packers 27, Steelers 10 (4:46 remaining)
Aaron Rodgers threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb, a history-making throw that put the Packers in control. The big play was a 25-yard run by AJ Dillon. Jet-sweep action to Amari Rodgers occupied the defense and left guard Jon Runyan Jr. wiped out the nose tackle to give Dillon clear sailing to the 1.
Packers 20, Steelers 10 (7:01 remaining)
Pressley Harvin shanked a 20-yard punt, perhaps because safety Darnell Savage burst up the middle and almost blocked the kick. That has Green Bay set up at Pittsburgh’s 40 with a chance to take control.
Packers 20, Steelers 10 (9:31 remaining)
The Packers extended the lead but quarterback Aaron Rodgers, coach Matt LaFleur and many of the 78,000-plus in attendance were irate. On second-and-goal from the 8, T.J. Watt tripped Aaron Rodgers. Initially, it was ruled a trip on Watt. The officials then reversed themselves – even while a replay on the big screen showed Watt obviously extended his foot and tripped the quarterback. On third-and-goal from the 11, Rodgers threw incomplete to Allen Lazard. There would be no makeup call for holding on cornerback James Pierre. A 25-yard completion to Randall Cobb – his fourth third-down conversion of the game – was the key play.
Packers 17, Steelers 10
The Packers lead at halftime and will have the ball to start the second half. Aaron Rodgers is 13-of-22 passing for 144 yards, with one touchdown pass and one touchdown run. Aaron Jones has 39 rushing yards and 64 total yards. Randall Cobb’s three receptions for 43 yards and one touchdown all came on third down.
Green Bay is up 206-129 in total yards, 13-6 in first downs and 1-0 in turnovers.
Packers 17, Steelers 10 (5 seconds remaining)
The Packers took a seven-point lead into halftime but not without a moment of consternation. A week after their game-winning field goal against San Francisco was almost blocked, Mason Crosby’s 31-yarder was blocked by cornerback Joe Haden. All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick scooped up the loose ball and went about 80 yards for a touchdown. However, Haden was offside and Crosby booted a 26-yarder. It was his 23rd consecutive successful field goal, matching his own team record from 10 years ago. On third-and-10, Aaron Rodgers pass to Aaron Jones went from touchdown to incomplete on a late breakup by linebacker Joe Schobert.
Packers 14, Steelers 10 (5:41 remaining)
Chris Boswell made a 52-yard field goal to get the Steelers within four points. They overcame a first-and-20 on the drive. The big play was a 17-yard completion to James Washington in which Eric Stokes missed the tackle to give Washington an additional 14 yards. Perhaps an even bigger play came on the next snap. JuJu Smith-Schuster was wide open for what should have been a double-move touchdown but Ben Roethlisberger didn’t put enough air under the ball and it sailed through Smith-Schuster’s fingertips. Kenny Clark stuffed Najee Harris for a loss of 2 on second down and Roethlisberger threw incomplete on third down.
Packers 14, Steelers 7 (10:55 remaining)
Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb struck again on third down. This time, on third-and-10, Rodgers ran a crossing route, separated from safety Terrell Edmunds, caught the ball in stride at the 11 and ran through All-Pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick at the goal line for a 23-yard touchdown. It was Rodgers’ 419th career touchdown pass, one behind Dan Marino for sixth on the all-time list.
Packers 7, Steelers 7 (12:28 remaining)
On third-and-6, defensive tackle Kingsley Keke made his first impact play of the season. With good coverage in the secondary, Green Bay’s pass rush surrounded Ben Roethlisberger. Keke sacked Roethlisberger and jarred the ball loose. Kenny Clark recovered, giving the Packers a first down at Pittsburgh’s 23.
Packers 7, Steelers 7 (13:22 remaining)
Aaron Rodgers ran for a 4-yard touchdown to tie the game. AJ Dillon powered ahead to convert a third-and-3 and added a 16-yard catch, and Randall Cobb had catches of 8 and 12 yards to move the chains on two more third downs. On the run, Rodgers stepped up in the pocket and had clear sailing to the end zone. As he approached the goal line, it appeared he had something to say to Steelers All-Pro T.J. Watt.
Injury update: After the touchdown, Preston Smith was back at outside linebacker.
Steelers 7, Packers 0 (4:10 remaining)
The Packers got moving, keyed by a 21-yard back-shoulder pass from Aaron Rodgers to Davante Adams. However, on third-and-3 from the Steelers’ 34, coach Matt LaFleur went with an empty backfield and Steelers linebacker Devin Bush blitzed untouched between left guard Jon Runyan and center Josh Myers for the sack. Corey Bojorquez’s punt was downed at the 4.
Steelers 7, Packers 0 (10:04 remaining)
The Packers won the toss and deferred – and now are trailing 7-0. Ben Roethlisberger threw his 400th career touchdown pass on third-and-4, a 45-yard strike to Diontae Johnson over Pro Bowl cornerback Jaire Alexander after coaxing Rashan Gary offside. Roethlisberger went 4-for-4 on the opening drive. Pittsburgh had not scored a first-quarter point all season.
Injury update: Outside linebacker Preston Smith (shoulder) is questionable to return. He was injured on the third play of the game. This was his 100th consecutive game; he has not missed a game in his career.
The hungriest-team-wins mantra is sticking in my head with kickoff approaching. Good teams usually don’t lose three games in a row. They’re just too good to lose too often. Moreover, there are the intangibles of pride and urgency. Will there be a too-happy hangover for the Packers? I don’t think so. The Week 1 sting will be too fresh in their minds for that to happen. But Pittsburgh really needs a win. Throw in the power of Pittsburgh’s defensive front, which is led by T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward, and there’s a real element of danger for the Packers.
So, I’m going with the upset.
Steelers 24, Packers 20. (Bill’s record: 1-2.)
Learning to Win
Packers coach Matt LaFleur likes to talk about hitting the “reset button.” Win or lose, the outcome one week can’t be allowed to linger to the next game.
Nonetheless, quarterback Aaron Rodgers hopes there’s some residual impact from last week’s victory over San Francisco.
“Huge,” Rodgers called it on Wednesday. “Every year, you’ve got to relearn how to win with this group of guys. A bunch of us who’ve been around and know what it feels like and what it should look like, obviously, we have a foundation of that. But every team has to learn how to win, from No. 1 to 69 on the roster. You’ve got to feel how special it is. Couldn’t quite feel that after the Detroit game, for whatever reason. Maybe (because) we won by three scores or maybe didn’t think it was as big of a win because it was Detroit. Whatever the mind-set was, it’s hard to win in this league, and I think that’s what we were trying to convey after Week 2.
“It didn’t feel like the excitement of how special it is to win; 30-28 against San Fran, you could feel the excitement. And, obviously, the way it finished and Mason (Crosby) making a big kick and us hitting a couple of chunk plays. But every year, you have to relearn and I think readjust the perspective and savor how special it is to win in this league and never take it for granted. We’ve been fortunate, those of us who’ve played it a long time, played in Titletown and understand what the expectations are, which it isn’t like that across the league. That withstanding, never take winning for granted because it’s tough in this league and it’s special, every single one of them.”
Stellar Steelers Defense
Pittsburgh’s defense will be at just about full strength for Sunday with the return of outside linebackers T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. Without them last week against Cincinnati, Pittsburgh’s NFL-record streak of 75 consecutive games with at least one sack was snapped. Watt led the NFL with 15 sacks last season and the Steelers have led the NFL in sacks each of the past four seasons. In fact, they’ve had at least 50 sacks each of the past four seasons, the longest streak since the New York Giants 35 years ago.
Defensive coordinator Keith Butler’s unit will be a major challenge not only in terms of talent, with David Bakhtiari and Elgton Jenkins out of action due to injuries, but mentally to a unit that is short on experience. Left tackle Yosh Nijman will make his second professional start, left guard Jon Runyan Jr. will make his third start, and rookie center Josh Myers and right guard Royce Newman will make their fourth starts.
“I think this is one of the most unique defenses we’ll face all year,” offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said. “It’s got a long, long history. I remember being able to face it a couple times when we were at Jacksonville, and even prior to that. And it’s got the Dick LeBeau traditional world, which is organized chaos. So, these guys do a great job trying to disguise, fool the quarterback, bring pressure from all over, rush five with a bunch of really good football players. It’s going to be about communicating and the guys seeing the looks and just being able to talk and work though things throughout the game. So, it’s going to be a great challenge.”
On Saturday, the Packers placed receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) on injured reserve and elevated fellow receiver Equanimeous St. Brown from the practice squad.
Officially, St. Brown was a COVID elevation for defensive tackle Tyler Lancaster. That’s an accounting move. Players can be elevated from the practice squad only twice; the third time, he must be added to the 53. St. Brown also was elevated for the Week 2 game against Detroit. But, because this is a COVID elevation, the Packers still have some flexibility with St. Brown.
Along with Valdes-Scantling, the Packers will be down three additional starters: Cornerback Kevin King (concussion), left tackle Elgton Jenkins (ankle) and inside linebacker Krys Barnes (concussion). Barnes, who was injured against San Francisco, was questionable after being limited at practice on Thursday and Friday.
For Pittsburgh, receiver Chase Claypool and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor are among its inactives.
It is a gloomy Sunday in Green Bay. The forecast for the 3:25 p.m. kickoff is 68 degrees. According to weather.com, the chance of rain will climb from 21 percent at 3 p.m. to 47 percent at 6 p.m. The wind is negligible.
How to Watch Packers vs. Steelers
TV: CBS – Jim Nantz, Tony Romo and Tracy Wolfson (field reporter).
Coverage map: 506Sports.com shows you where the game will air.
Stream: Are you not part of the coverage area or going to be out and about? You can stream the game on FuboTV. Get 7-day Free Trial.
Radio: Packers Radio Network – Wayne Larrivee, Larry McCarren. Sirius – 134 (Pit.), 82 (GB) | XM: 385 (Pit.), 227 (GB) | SXM App: 826 (Pit.), 811 (GB)