The Pittsburgh Steelers
week 1 game will be on the road against the Cleveland Browns
, but before they face the Browns, they had to deal with the Green Bay Packers in their third preseason game of the year.
Head coach Mike Tomlin, who is hoping to lead the Steelers to their seventh Super Bowl win this season said during a recent interview that he though the offense played tentatively against the Packers, who took a 34-14 lead into the half.
Tomlin said he thinks rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph needs to cut it loose and compete instead of trying to be perfect. He added that the rookie shouldn’t worry about making mistakes and just play to win the game.
Last week, the Steelers didn’t get to face Philadelphia’s starter Carson Wentz or backup Nick Foles because they both sat out the preseason game to recover from injuries. Pittsburgh’s defense had a good game against Philadelphia’s third and fourth string quarterbacks, who threw for 219 yards and two interceptions.
Pittsburgh’s defense played well against Philadelphia’s backups and shut out the defending Super Bowl champions in the second half of the game.
In their last game, they had to go up against Aaron Rodgers, who led the Packers on a 40-yard scoring drive that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham, who signed with Green Bay in the offseason.
Even though Rodgers played briefly, the fact that he was able to score a quick touchdown against Pittsburgh’s defense is a cause for concern for Tomlin.
Interestingly, Tomlin and Rodgers got their big break in the same season. Tomlin was named the head coach of the Steelers in 2008, the same season Rodgers was named Green Bay’s starting quarterback, after backing up Hall of Famer Brett Favre for the first three years of his career.
Since he earned the starting job, Rodgers had been named to the Pro Bowl
six times, earned two All-Pro selections, and won two league MVP awards. Rodgers, who has a 94-48 record as a starter, led the Packers to a Super Bowl win in 2010 over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He has also been to two NFC Championship Games as the Packers’ starting quarterback.
Like Tomlin, who is hoping to win a Super Bowl this season, Rodgers is also hoping to lead the Packers back to the Super Bowl, which will add to his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks in team history.
Before the game against the Packers, Tomlin had been looking forward to playing the Packers at Lambeau Field, where the Steelers hadn’t played since 2013. Tomlin called the stadium a legendary venue and added that he wanted the players, who haven’t played in the stadium to appreciate the history of the stadium and its significance in NFL lore.
After the Packers dropped 51 points on the Steelers to run away with a 51-34 win, Tomlin and his players will be glad they don’t have to go back to Lambeau field or play the Packers this season. But, they will have to figure out how to get past both the New England Patriots
, who have owned them in recent meetings, and the Jacksonville Jaguars
who defeated them twice at Heinz Field
last season and eliminated them from the playoffs.