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Packers Survive Steelers Late Surge, Injuries. Win 27-17

The Packers rallied in the second quarter to take a 14-7 lead over Pittsburgh and held on late thanks to a ball control offense that converted nine third downs and big plays by a banged up Packer defense.

This game may be the first that you can argue that the Packers outplayed their opponents in all three phases of the game. Corey Bojorquez earned the title “Special Teamer”. His first punt of 36 yards was downed at the four yard line. His second punt from the GB six yard line boomed 57 yards and was not returned. Clutch punting in a big moment of the game. So refreshing to see a punter in a green and gold uniform do that.

Crosby was 2/2 after his first blocked attempt was negated due to a close call of offsides by the Steelers. He was also perfect for extra points and had three touchback kickoffs. Three kickoffs were returned, and although one did go for a forty yards return, the other two were kept in check. The punt coverage by Isaac Yiadom was textbook perfection.

The Packers took advantage of a 20 yard punt by Pittsburgh’s rookie punter. The short field led to a quick touchdown, Cobb’s second of the day and Rodgers 420th of his career, tying Dan Marino for 6th most TD passes of all time.

Injuries to Preston Smith and Jaime Alexander required Rashan Gary to up his game and, Yiadom and Shemar Jean-Charles to play significant snaps in the second half. Gary’s stat line of 6 tackles, 4 solo, 1 sack, one TFL, and two QB hits. Yiadom had 4 tackles. The Steelers first touchdown seemed to come on an obvious offensive pass interference. On the replay Dionte Johnson clearly put his hand on Alexander’s shoulder affecting the timing and spacing of his jump and attempted deflection. The defense then turned the momentum of the game when Kingsley Keke stripped Roethlisberger of the ball and Kenny Clark recovered. The Packers held the Steelers to 62 yards rushing and pressured Roethlisberger relentlessly. The Packers scored quickly on the short field and the suddenness of the two scores seemed to impact the Steelers game plan.

Eric Stokes

October 3, 2021; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers cornerback Eric Stokes (21) celebrates after an interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers during a game at Lambeau Field. Dan Powers/Appleton Post-Crescent via USA TODAY NETWORK

The best part of the day for lifelong Packer fans was watching Randall Cobb catch 5 balls for 69 yards and two touchdowns. He hasn’t had two scores in a game in over five seasons. Eric Stokes still has growing to do but he also has skills. His missed tackle in the second quarter was embarrassing. His pass interference penalty in the end zone was costly. His game icing interception showed his potential in his technique and his mental toughness. Other young players might have folded after those glaring errors. Stokes pick shows he has the mental makeup necessary for an NFL corner.

This win cannot be celebrated without giving recognition to the Packer offensive line. Both the Packers and Steelers were starting two rookies on their offensive line; Center Kendrick Green and Dan Moore at tackle. The Steelers Kevin Dotson is a second year player. The inexperience of their o-line closely mirrors the Packers. The Steelers are struggling to open holes for a great running back and Roethlisberger is constantly affected by pressure. They are now 1-3. The Packers have been able to establish a consistent run game and keep Rodgers relatively clean. Kudos to this offensive line and their coaches. Yosh Nijman has now faced the 112 million dollar man, C.J. Watt, and Nick Bosa back to back. Welcome to the NFL, Mr. Nijman. While Watt gets credit in the stat book for two sacks, one was clearly an uncalled tripping penalty and the other was in garbage time when Rodgers decided to keep the clock running instead of throwing it away. Nijman stayed penalty free and he and the “Newbies” allowed Rodgers to have another banner day. Rodgers QBR was 95.6. Rodgers did miss a few open receivers but how can you nitpick when he found open receivers on third down, threw two TD’s and ran for a score.

Good teams overcome injuries, missed penalties and early deficits. The 2021 Packers have done that two weeks in a row. Let’s just hope neither of Sunday’s injuries are serious. Both Alexander and Smith will be needed next week. Next up, the improving Bengals in Cincinnati.

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Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a lawyer, victim advocate, writer, and long term Packer fan and Packer history enthusiast.

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20 Comments

  1. Dean October 4, 2021

    It was nice to see GB run the ball effectively and also have the D stop the run — winning on both sides of the line.

    Reply
  2. Deepsky October 4, 2021

    I don’t know if we can say the Packers have a consistent running game. Right now their running game is something like 20th in the league, even though it seems like they are running the ball a fair amount. Aaron Jones, one of the highest paid running backs in the league, is ranked 21st. On top of that, he’s fumbled 3 times out of the last 5 games. Jones sometimes seems like he’s just overpowered. Teams are not respecting the Packers running game at all.

    Reply
    1. Dean October 4, 2021

      Dillon and Jones each had 15 rushes for a combined 129 yards against a decent run stopping front. This may be a template going forward combined with the pass game to keep the chains moving and wear down a strong defense. Setup reasonable 3rd downs and bring in Cobb who seems to enjoy the 3rd down role.

      Reply
  3. Savage57 October 5, 2021

    The game felt like the final score should have read 41-10.

    Reply
  4. Mick October 5, 2021

    Deepsky has a good point that other teams don’t respect GBs’ running game. And why should they? Whenever our offense gets inside the red zone, and the play that is called, with no RB in the backfield; the other team just smothers Adams and Tonyan. Sure, it works against lesser talented defenses but, against quality defenses—– not so much. Makes you wonder why they drafted a bull of a RB in Dillon. Sometimes, coaches out-think themselves. Sometimes, you wonder why they drafted bigger, stronger, more agile O-Linemen, and not put that aspect to use inside the 5 yard line; at least, more often than they do now! IMO, more commitment to the run, would also benefit the passing game, in that it keeps the other defense honest. But, I guess MLF and, or #12; don’t see it that way.

    Reply
    1. Stickman October 5, 2021

      Hey Mick, I think your right. The art of deception is a great tool to have. And I also think #28 is getting more comfortable with every carry. I say the next time we have poor conditions give Guadzilla the rock 35 times and let’s see what we got. I’ll never forget the filling a got watching the “Nigerian Nightmare” pound the ball down are throats

      Reply
      1. Dean October 5, 2021

        Agreed. Dillon is a 3 down back now to the point were the play caller (ML) does not worry about which RB is in when he makes the call.

        Reply
  5. Tom M October 5, 2021

    AJ Dillion rushed for 81 yards. He’d have been over a 100 had he not split carries with Jones. As long as Jones is healthy that’s the way it will be. It’s always good to have a RB with fresh legs in December. Dillion will give you that. You ignore the Packer running game at your own risk. The OL gets better and better every week. Nijman will be the starting RT next year. Myers will be as good as Linsley. Even Newman may push Runyan or replace Jenkins if we can’t resign him. Stokes is having the expected growing pains but is holding up well. His catches are contested and he’s assignment are sure. Joe Barry’s defense is constantly getting pressure. Those are the positives. If Aaron Rodgers continues to force the ball to Adams and Cobb we’re in trouble. And if Jaire Alexander’s injury is serious it all could be over before it’s even started. There’s no one on the roster that can come close to replace him. And heaven help us if Kevin King has to start for an extended period of time.

    Reply
    1. Mick October 5, 2021

      Yup, as it is right now, Alexanders’ injury could be a devastating blow. I cringe at the thought of King playing that spot. A real gut punch to the improving defense.

      Reply
      1. PF4L October 5, 2021

        Week 1..Dillon had 4.7 YPC, but for 19 yards with a long of 6 yards. Jones had 1.8 YPC for 9 yards with a long of 3 yards
        .
        Week 2…Dillon had 3.6 YPC, Jones had 3.9 YPC
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        Week 3….Dillon had 3 YPC, Jones was an eyelash over 4 YPC.
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        Week 4 …Dillon had 5.4 YPC, Jones had 3.2 YPC
        *****************************
        Now…lets not act like the running backs are a force running the ball. Sure, they trended better against the Steelers and the line (finally) opened up a huge gaping hole (apologies to Tommies mother) for Dillon to run through for 25 yards, those runs always help the average.
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        But Jones, 3 out of the last 4 seasons has averaged 5.5 YPC..outstanding, this year….he is at 3.7 YPC so far.
        .
        So…what’s different? The front line.
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        Tommy thinks the front line will keep getting better, and that may be so, we’ll see.
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        But Tommies crystal ball about predicting the future, is flawed at best….i mean…c’mon, Meyers as good as Linsley?…did your fortune cookie tell you that?
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        Royce Newman replace Runyan or Jenkins?…..Newman is fucking horrible, do you even watch the games?
        Can you even get the Packer games over the air in Chiliville USA?

        Reply
      2. PF4L October 5, 2021

        And where is Dequara? The halfback/tight end monster this guy was all hyped up to be to open up the offense, can he at least block?
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        You gotta love all the off season hype…then once the real games start….crickets.
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        I mean…he has 1 catch for 4 yards this season, someone wake me when he does something special a 3rd round pick should do.
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        Maybe he’ll go watch game tape and eat nacho’s at Sternbergers house.
        They can giggle, laugh and high 5 each other at how easy it is making a few million dollars as Gutes 3rd round picks while doing….next to nothing.

        Reply
        1. Tom M October 6, 2021

          Don’t you worry sweetheart. Aaron Rodgers will have the perfect GM in Pittsburgh next year. Where he’ll substitute Big Ben and get the shit knocked out of him with that shitty OL. And like Big Ben, without Davante Adams, Rodgers will miss more and more open WR’s that comes with the gift of age. But PF4L will be as giddy as a school girl as tinker bell takes the Steelers to the SB while he and Aaron ride bareback together on a pink unicorn. Fantasy is a powerful thing. You think Rodgers will be a team captain in Pittsburgh? It’s sooo important! We can only hope and pray! Right PF4L?

          Reply
          1. PF4L October 6, 2021

            Oh…i’m sorry, was i saying anything about Rogers?
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            Lets see….
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            Rodgers…3 times mentioned
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            PF4L….2 mentions
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            Fuck…Rodgers wins again
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            37 seconds left..no time outs, who ya gonna call?
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            Tommi..if you said Rodgers and Adams, you’d be right…for once this week
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            Congratulations Princess…how about i buy you an ice cream cone….hmm?…would you like that?

            Reply
  6. PF4L October 5, 2021

    I agree more runs should be called for short yardage, especially using Dillon, if you don’t use him in those situations, it begs the question…why the hell did you spend a 2nd round pick on him?
    Isn’t it bad enough we don’t use the #1 and #3 pick of that draft?
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    Speaking of Dequara, i’d be remiss not to say his name did get called Sunday.
    I believe he received a penalty.
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    I have some serious questions about the Z Smith situation. This story has some serious stank involved in it somehow.
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    He was supposedly hurt all off season, he had 2 limited non contact practices the week of the game Wed. and Thur. Fri. he did not practice……
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    1) What was the upside in playing him without a full participation practice?
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    2) Did he injure his back further in that game causing him to have surgery?
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    3) If so….Did the medical staff know that playing him increases his chances of further injury and/or surgery?
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    4) Was surgery discussed as an option anytime before the Saints game?
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    5) Am i the only one who saw him play against the Saints and it seemed like he was 100%?
    On his would be sack on Winston, he tackled him hard and got up instantly, flying around like he didn’t have a care in the world.
    Translation…never did i see him move slow, nursing an injury.
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    6) Is Z Smith reported contract concerns, still an issue with him?
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    Think any reporters ask any of these questions?….maybe…but i doubt it.
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    Think there is any chance of the GM speaking out about losing there best playmaking defensive player?
    Highly doubtful.

    Reply
    1. Mick October 5, 2021

      Puzzling how little info has been given out about Z. Smiths’ injury.

      Reply
      1. PF4L October 5, 2021

        No it’s not.
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        They aren’t going to air their dirty laundry before they have to.
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        More upper mismanagement.
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        Next up…Davante Adams.

        Reply
  7. Robster October 5, 2021

    As for the controversial offside call, the 2021 NFL rule book (Sec. 20) says: “A player is Offside when any part of his body or his person is in the Neutral Zone.” It appears that the upper torsos of one or both defenders who otherwise timed their charges so well were across the line of scrimmage when the ball was snapped. The only way to know for sure is for a referee to have a view right down the line of scrimmage (which one official always has), or if there is a camera so positioned. It appears to me that, under the definition, one or both defenders lined up/leaned across the line with their upper bodies. I think the refs made the correct call, though I see defenders leaning over the line of scrimmage all the time without it being called..

    Reply
    1. PF4L October 5, 2021

      EXACTLY Rob…thank you!!
      They might have acknowledged that he was over over the line, but very briefly…instead we heard…”no one gets that deep without being offsides” repeated 5,6 times.
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      I cant stand Tony Romo.
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      That end zone camera view was terrible to try relive that play, they usually have a camera down near the line of scrimmage somewhere.
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      I forget who it was but we had some good announcers 2,3 weeks ago…really excellent calling the game.

      Reply
      1. Mick October 6, 2021

        PF4L, I agree with you on Romo, and I’ll add another—– Collingsworth! . Those two bore me to tears when they ramble on. They are hired to add the players perspective to the game telecast, but the rambling on is over-bearing. As far as the refs calling games, I’ve watched a few other games, other than Packer games; and there is no consistency in the calling of penalties from game to game. Seems the NFL office doesn’t see it as a problem. It’s a tough job, especially with the mass of humanity at the line of scrimmage, but there should be more consistency for making calls in the open field—-ie; pass interference for example. Their keen eye is good when calling penalties on punt and kickoff returns, but lack on P.I. After all, both happen in the open field.

        Reply
        1. PF4L October 6, 2021

          You’ll rarely ever here me dissing refs, they have a thankless job. They are in a lose/lose situation. They are always going to piss off simple minds.
          .
          Do they miss calls…of course they do. Do some refs not make a call when it should be apparent to them, we seem to think so.
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          Here’s what joe 6 pack doesn’t understand watching from his trailer (no offence Tommi)
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          1) There is a lot going on in a NFL game
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          2) The refs have to make the calls in real time, bang/bang. In a second or two.
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          3) The refs don’t get to hit rewind on their dvr and watch it a few times.
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          4) When the play stops, the refs don’t get to watch it on the big stadium screen from different angles in slow motion and THEN decide to throw a flag or not.
          But the fans watch it, then act all high n mighty that the refs didn’t get it right.
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          I’d like to see some fans put on the zebra shirts and give it a try, as millions of fans judge them on their calls in real time.They would all look like fools.
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          The refs get little or no credit for making the right call….but they go through hell if they get it wrong as millions watch it in slo mo from different camera angles from their couch.
          ..
          All in all i think most of the refs do one hell of a good job.

          Reply

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