The Green Bay Packers are coming off of a 23-0 blowout loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens in Week 12. It was a tough loss that has put the Packers in a hole when it comes to the NFC playoff race.
Aaron Rodgers could return in just three weeks against the Carolina Panthers, as 247 Sports noted. He has been progressing well in his recovery, but there is no telling whether the Packers will have their star quarterback back on the field in Week 15. That may change if the Packers are unable to stay in playoff contention.
Brett Hundley has not shown the progression that the Packers were hoping to see from him. He struggled mightily in Week 11 against the Ravens, turning the football over four times. Going up against an 8-2 Pittsburgh team with a quality defense will not be easy for the Packers’ new starter.
Green Bay will likely need Jamaal Williams to have another big game with Aaron Jones out and Ty Montgomery still dealing with a rib issue. Williams has played well for the Packers over the last two weeks.
All of that being said, which keys must the Packers focus on in order to have a chance at knocking off the Steelers on Sunday Night Football?
Jamaal Williams Must Establish the Ground Game Early
Assuming Williams is once again the starting running back, the Packers will need him to come out of the gate strong. Pittsburgh has a very good defense and the Packers must have a productive game on the ground in order to take pressure off of Hundley. Montgomery may take some of his carries away and will need to put up a solid game himself.
Brett Hundley Must Not Turn the Football Over
Next on the list is cutting down the turnovers. Having a starting quarterback turn the football over four times is not going to result in many wins. Hundley must take care of the football this week.
Hundley Needs to Get the Ball Out Quicker
It has been obvious throughout his first three starts that Hundley holds onto the football way too long. He has taken quite a few sacks due to not getting the ball out quick enough and has missed a lot of open receivers as well. Hundley needs to improve that area of his game this week.
Green Bay Has to Put Pressure on Ben Roethlisberger
Clay Matthews is struggling this season and suffered a groin injury last week, but he did record a sack and look much better against the Ravens. Nick Perry is a quality pass rusher as well. Green Bay has plenty of pass rushing talent to work with and have to find ways to pressure Ben Roethlisberger this week.
Slow Down Le’Veon Bell
Green Bay is currently ranked No. 11 in rushing defense and is going up against one of the best running backs in football this week. Le’Veon Bell is going to be a handful for the Packers’ defense. Slowing down Bell is a must for Green Bay this week, even though they won’t completely shut him down.
Expect to see a much better game than many are predicting from the Packers this week. Pittsburgh is still a much better all-around football team, but perhaps the Packers can squeak out a huge win to remain in playoff contention.
[Featured Image by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]