Below are seven matchups or things to look for on Sunday as the Steelers take on the Green Bay Packers.
4th Quarter Interception/Any Interception – The Steelers are 3-0 in games that they have intercepted a pass in the 4th quarter of a game. The cornerbacks have still yet to intercept a pass all season. That is unheard of. If they want to beat the Packers, they must force turnovers.
Farrior Fading – As I wrote a few weeks ago, inside linebacker James Farrior has aged tremendously this year. He will have a tough chore covering Packers running back Ryan Grant or tight ends Donald Lee & Jermichael Finley. Farrior could be turning into a run down, situational linebacker.
3rd Down Conversion Rate – The Steelers come off of a game against Cleveland in which they went 3 of 14 on 3rd downs. Anything less than a 40% rate versus the Packers, will surely end in a loss. Staying in a 3rd and short will go a long way in hopefully leaning more on the run on short 3rd down opportunities.
Hartwig vs Raji/Pickett – Center Justin Hartwig is coming off one of his worst games ever against Cleveland. The Packers 3-4 defense is anchored by nose tackle Ryan Pickett. Picket rotates with rookie B.J. Raji to keep each other fresh. Raji has developed nicely over the season and Hartwig must be up to the challenge.
3 Down Rashard – Rashard Mendenhall will now likely get more third down work according to mike Tomlin. It will be interesting to see if he is used more in the passing game as well to keep the Packers defense honest. Rashard only needs 60 yards for his 1st 1000 yard season.
Keenan Lewis Sighting – With Limas Sweed out this week with the flu, rookie cornerback Keenan Lewis may be active this week to help on special teams. If active, he could also spell Ike Taylor a few times as well. Lewis has not been active many times this season and if given a chance at corner, needs to make some splash plays.
Ravens/Bears – Scoreboard watching will be a weekly past time if the Steelers some how pull out a win against the Packers. The Ravens host the Bears in frozen Baltimore and a win by the Ravens would be bad.