A brief overview of three storylines that could help determine the outcome of the Sunday night showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Green Bay Packers took a dive in the latest USA TODAY NFL Power Rankings after their shutout loss to the Baltimore Ravens at Lambeau Field last Sunday. They come in at No. 23 after dropping four spots.
Now the Packers are set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night, a team that is riding high and sitting at No. 3 in the latest power rankings.
Here’s what USA TODAY had to say about the Packers:
In the three games since Aaron Rodgers went down, WR Jordy Nelson has only been targeted 15 times, catching eight balls for 68 yards. Hmm.
And here’s what they had to say about the Steelers:
Just when offense appears to be dialed in, RT Marcus Gilbert gets suspended for stretch when Pittsburgh will see several fierce pass rushers.
Elsewhere, NFL Media’s Elliot Harrison drops the Packers three spots to No. 24:
The good vibes from the win at Soldier Field eroded rapidly for Brett Hundley in the first quarterversus that Ravens defense Sunday. Baltimore suffocated the Packers' pass offense all day, making the task in front of a tired Green Bay defense nearly impossible. Hundley's attempts at making Aaron Rodgers-style plays are implausible at this point. He must learn to live to play another down. As the CBS broadcasters put it, Hundley thinks he can make every play. Still like those Packers throwbacks better with the brown helmets. More legit.
ESPN drops the Packers nine spots to No. 26:
From their website:
Train wreck: Including the game he got hurt, the Packers are now 1-4 without Aaron Rodgers this season, averaging 13.4 points per game in those contests. This looked like it would be a promising season for Green Bay, but after a shutout loss to the Ravens at Lambeau Field, it's hard to see the remainder of the season being anything short of a mess.
Business Insider has the Packers coming in at No. 19:
From their website:
At 5-5, the Packers are somehow still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the NFC, but Green Bay will still need to put together some wins without Aaron Rodgers before it's worth it for him to make his return even if he isn't back at 100%.
Over at Bleacher Report, Chris Simms drops the Pack four spots to No. 24:
The early interception by Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Hundley was huge. The Packers drove down the field, but Hundley threw a pick in the red zone. He misread the coverage and released the ball before he even read the defense and saw the coverage.
That was a mistake that prevented the Packers from playing with an early lead. It's also a mistake that Aaron Rodgers would never have made.
As I've been saying since I first joined Bleacher Report, Green Bay is not a good team. Rodgers has consistently taken a team with 6-10, 5-11 talent and fooled everyone into thinking it is a Super Bowl contender. We're now seeing how bad the Packers are without him.
The offense isn't creative. The defense is average at best. The Packers play tough, but they don't do anything special. I have a hard time believing they're going to be able to string together wins.