No Aaron Rodgers makes Sunday’s game at Green Bay one the Steelers should win.
But would a victory be insignificant when factoring in Rodgers’ absence?
Not for a team that’s trying to at least finish strong, for one that desires to continue playing a much more representative brand of football than it had during a disastrous, 0-for-4 September.
Matt Flynn’s no Rodgers, but Flynn is at least capable. So there’s something to be gained even though the Steelers would be eliminated from postseason contention prior
to kickoff if the Dolphins or Browns should win their 1 p.m. games.
The Packers have been and remain a big-play offense, via the run and the pass. The Steelers' defense did much better in that department against Cincinnati but will have to do much better still in preventing big plays much more often before they can begin to contemplate that problem as solved.
On offense the Steelers will need to do what they’ve been doing, keep the sacks and the turnovers at a minimum against a defense that thrives on sacking the quarterback and one that of late has been adept at taking the ball away. Should the Steelers' offense accomplish as much it will build on the momentum it’s been generating.
The opportunity to achieve all of that against the Packers in December at Lambeau Field isn’t lost on the participants.
Yes, it’s a business trip, but the destination is the NFL’s equivalent of Yankee Stadium (the old one, the original).
“We have Lombardis up here in our room,” Brett Keisel observed, referencing the six Vince Lombardi trophies on display at the Steelers’ South Side practice facility. “We know where that name comes from.”
The Steelers have more of those Super Bowl trophies (six) than any other NFL team.
But the Packers have more NFL championships (13; there’s a reason the trophy was named
after Vince Lombardi).
That alone makes a meeting between the two teams intriguing, even if both have fallen on relatively hard times.