Sunday Night wrap-up: Antonio Brown and Steelers do it again

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When in doubt, the Steelers know they can just throw it up for Antonio Brown.

The veteran wide receiver was unstoppable, again, in Pittsburgh’s 31-28 win over the Packers.

Brown had 10 catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns, with a couple of the kind of unbelievable catches we’re accustomed to seeing from him.

The last one helped put them in position for Chris Boswell‘s 53-yard field goal to win it with no time left, and showed Brown’s acrobatic ability, as he was at full extension and dragging his feet as he went out of bounds. The win was their sixth straight, and improves them to 9-2.

The Steelers offense wasn’t perfect. Ben Roethlisberger threw a pair of interceptions, there were some dropped passes, and their running game was just good (not great).

But Brown’s the ultimate bailout position for them, and they know they can throw it in his general direction, and he’s generally going to make defenses pay.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. Brett Hundley‘s not going to be the next great quarterback in line in Green Bay.

But he’s at least showing he might be somebody’s, somewhere.

The Packers replacement played his best game since stepping in as the starter, finishing 17-of-26 passing for 245 yards and three touchdowns.

He had two touchdowns (and seven interceptions) in his first five games at the helm, making plenty of people wonder whether there was any future in him. But the Packers stuck by him staunchly (perhaps bordering on stubbornly) and he showed some signs Sunday that he was worth the patience.

He can throw on the move, and has some degree of touch on the deep ball, and given the scarcity of the market, there will always be a demand for guys with any ability whatsoever. The Packers have done good business flipping young backups in the past, and for the first time, it makes you think they might eventually get something for him (assuming they think Houlihan can be the backup in the future).

That doesn’t mean they made the right move ignoring more experienced options, at least in the context of this year’s playoff chances, since they’ve lost five of their last six. But it’s something positive, for the moment, after a month-plus without many.

2. The Steelers defense, by any conventional measure, has been very good this season.

But they’re also obviously missing Joe Haden, and a perpetual problem is back.

With the veteran cornerback out with his broken fibula, the Steelers lack of depth at cornerback has shown itself again. They’ve struggled there in the past, but the guys they have out there at the moment aren’t keeping pace with the rest of the defense.

The Steelers entered the game second in the league in both points allowed (16.5) and yards (287.6), but the Packers were making plays on the edges against them all night.

Haden’s not even the same cover player he’s been in the past, but the difference between him and the rest of them becomes more obvious when he’s not there.

3. It was encouraging for the Packers to see quarterback Aaron Rodgers airing it out a bit during pregame warm-ups. But it also might not mean anything.

Rodgers is recovering from surgery on his broken collarbone, and can’t return until Week 15 against the Panthers at the earliest. But he’s also made it clear that it has to “make sense” for him to return this year, which is a clear hint that he’s only doing so if the playoffs are a realistic possibility.

Hearing about him throwing some longer passes will encourage his fanbase, but it’s premature at this point, after the Packers fell to 5-6.

4. Steelers rookie outside linebacker T.J. Watt, the younger brother of Chargers fullback Derek Watt, has shown himself to be a versatile defender.

They drafted him in the first round for his pass-rush potential, because stacking up pass-rushers is part of the Steelers organizational philosophy.

But at one point in the third quarter, he was matched one-on-one with Packers wideout Jordy Nelson, and broke up a pass. That’s not the kind off coverage you expect from a 252-pound linebacker. But he has wheels, and with four sacks and an interception already this year, he’s showing he could be a significant part for them for years to come.

The late helmet-to-helmet hit on Hundley might cost him a little something, but linebackers getting fined is nothing new there.

5. Perhaps you’ve heard, but Packers coach Mike McCarthy is from Pittsburgh.

Which makes it that much more puzzling that he’d try a 57-yard field goal in a place notoriously hard to make long kicks.

That field position advantage helped the Steelers to the touchdown that tied the game at 21, and shifted the momentum of a game the Packers were in much longer than anticipated.

88 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Antonio Brown and Steelers do it again

  1. .
    Packers last TD drive the Catch before the Run TD the QUICK preview showed the dude dropped the catch as he went to the ground rolling past his legs…
    Announcers said nothing… ODD
    TJ Watt rushes in full speed for the SACK all I heard was Helmets slam into each other… REFs heard nothing? LOL…
    I dont think it should have been a penalty he hit shoulder first but due to his speed helmets slammed… if that was my TOMMY TJ would get suspended no?

  2. Pittsburgh playing down to their opponent in a trap game, very typical. Poor clock management by Tomlin also typical. Brown and Ben making up for it though, and Boswell clutch for the win! Whew but I’ll take it lol

    Go Steelers!

  3. Not sure it was a dirty hit, but it should have been flagged. Might not have changed the outcome, but probably would have sent it to OT.

  4. In complete shock the Packers nearly won this game. Did not see this coming. One of the best SNF games of the year.

  5. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm
    I don’t complain about officiating like Vike fans…

    “…so I’ll complain about officiating.. “

  6. Oh well. Great win, Steelers. Great game by both teams. Hundley showed that he’s not terrible against a good D. Between that and the fact that the Packers are desperate at 5-6, I like their chances of beating TB and CLE the next 2 weeks, and being 7-6 hopefully with Rodgers playing again.

  7. No one gave GB a sniff of a chance. The Steelers had all they wanted and like them or not, Green Bay played hard and had a chance to win the game. Should build some confidence. Look out if GB can manage to get into the playoffs.

  8. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm
    I don’t complain about officiating like Vike fans even though that was an obviously dirty hit. Should have been 15 and OT.

    //////////////

    You just complained.

  9. Dilly Dilly says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:42 pm
    Proud of the heart the Packers showed tonight. Wasn’t expecting such a close game, and wasn’t counting on a win, but they showed a lot of grit and heart

    /////////////

    Well said Stella.

  10. Wow! Mike McCarthy is a terrible coach. Played it waaay too safe on the last 3 downs on offense just playing for overtime. Then all you have to do is prevent Antonio Brown from catching the ball and the D gives up two long passes to AB to set up the game winning field goal. Lots amazing how bad coaching is in the NFL

  11. “Lack of coaching making sure players knew to stay in bounds cost the Packers OT”

    It could have, but in retrospect it wasn’t needed. Steelers has three time outs, they would have called one there and they moved the ball fairly quickly in range.

    It could have had an effect though, but it didn’t.

  12. I’ve been a Packers fan since Scooter McLean coached the team – pre-Lombardi. I believe it was the right decision not to bring in any other QB to start after Aaron was injured. Never choose expediency over taking the long term view. That’s worked for the Packers since Ron Wolf came on board. No reason to change now.

    Playoffs are not in the cards this season — but got to get set up for 2018.

    Go. Pack. Go.

  13. Hate the packers but they should have won tonight in spite of their terrible defense. Pittsburg players had the energy of a sloth on Valium. They were half asleep. No wonder they always lose to New England.

  14. “That doesn’t mean they made the right move ignoring more experienced options, at least in the context of this year’s playoff chances,”

    still pleaing for Kapernick to get a job?!?!

  15. That helmet-to-helmet hit by Watt was very unintentional. However, Hundley had pulled the ball down and started up field. This made him a runner and, even if it was unintentional, made the helmet-to-helmet a legal hit. He shouldn’t get fined for a legal hit.

  16. Dilly Dilly says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:49 pm
    Oh look everyone, Vikings trolls are here to gloat. Let em – they haven’t had many opportunities to do so in the last 20 years
    ———————————

    Great game huh Stella?

  17. Dilly Dilly says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:49 pm
    Oh look everyone, Vikings trolls are here to gloat. Let em – they haven’t had many opportunities to do so in the last 20 years.

    /////////////////

    Just the opposite Stella, seems like most everyone is saying the pack played well except pointing out the obvious such as going out of bounds stopping clock or trying a 57 FG (that was really stupid)

  18. Carl Gerbschmidt says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:39 pm
    I don’t complain about officiating like Vike fans even though that was an obviously dirty hit. Should have been 15 and OT.
    =================
    Your team just made a respectable outing in a game no one gave them a chance of winning, and you complain about the Vikings? Dude, you may want to see someone. You have issues.

  19. It was nice of the Steelers to let us hang around and let us think we could win. Maybe even have some sort of moral victory. But, this was a classic big brother/little brother matchup that we all knew the Steelers would turn it up and come away with the win.

  20. In the open the refs miss an obvious helmet to helmet hit by Watt on Hundley…..the Packers would have had the balls at the 40 with just under a minute and one time out…..

  21. Congrats to the Steelers and their fine fans.
    I have a ton of respect for the Steelers.
    Old school football for great, working class fans.

    Very tough loss, but it was great to see Hundley mature as a QB.
    A few mental mistakes still linger, but it looks like the lightbulb has finally went off in his head, as opposed to the deer in the headlights look we all saw last week.
    Still, a work in progress.

    What can I say about Antonio Brown?
    Phenomenal player, I’ve said it for years.
    He makes you just drop your jaw at some of the plays he’s able to make.
    And when you try and take him out there are just too many weapons Big Ben can resort to.

    McCarthy electing to go for a 57 yard FG was another dumb decision and Green Bay’s overall inefficiency to capitalize on the turnovers was very frustrating.

    What could have been a great road upset victory, ends in another disappointing loss, in a season full of disappointments.

    Though the Barneys will Yuck it up like they always do, we’ll press on.
    There’s still a lot to be excited about this team.
    Time to move on and focus on the Bucs.

  22. I don’t understand, GB fans said the Vikes couldn’t win with Bradford or Bridgewater, however we are winning with essentially our 3rd stringer. As soon as Rodgers goes down, so does your season. Odd how that works.

  23. You’re darn right Vikings fans will gloat!
    MN keeps winning with its backup QB, yet Green Bay has only a win over the pathetic Bears in the past SIX GAMES!

    And before Cheeseheads say, Vikes fans are scared watching Rodgers air it out in pregame….NO we are not! The Vikings have beaten Green Bay THREE of the last four times…all games started by Rodgers!
    Oh…and those 3 wins were won by three DIFFERENT Vikings QBs:
    Bridgewater
    Bradford
    Keenum

    All beat the future Hall of Famer, Aaron Rodgers…let that sink in!

  24. “Steelers play down/up to the competition” Tired of hearing this. We put up 40 points against the Titans and everyone goes nuts and pretends that the Titans were elite just because they were a playoff contending team. A win is a win, but what the hell are the Ravens going to do when they come to Pittsburgh.. They shut out the Packers on the road.

    I’m confident the Steelers will at least get the first-round playoff bye, but what then? The 2010-2011 New York Jets won’t be there to do the dirty work, the Steelers WILL go to Foxborough in the AFC Championship.

  25. Two completely blown coverages by the Steelers defense and two turnovers by the offense. They also had far more penalties. Receivers were dropping passes left and right. They are lucky they have the 3 Bs.

    This is not a team that can “win it all” as their coach said so arrogantly. Their secondary is atrocious. Brady will slice them up.

  26. packers did not look good. steelers defense just looked bad.
    ——-
    You guys really are an insecure bunch of tools. Can’t even give it up after a great game like this.

  27. wafflestomp says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:59pm

    McCarthy electing to go for a 57 yard FG was another dumb decision and Green Bay’s overall inefficiency to capitalize on the turnovers was very frustrating.
    Though the Barneys will Yuck it up like they always do, we’ll press on.

    ////////////////////

    Yuck,Yuck,Yuck

  28. I don’t understand, GB fans said the Vikes couldn’t win with Bradford or Bridgewater, however we are winning with essentially our 3rd stringer. As soon as Rodgers goes down, so does your season. Odd how that works.
    ——
    Well, you’re a Viking fan so I’m assuming there are a lot of things you don’t understand. But in this case it’s easy. Your “third string” QB is actually better than your first stringer. Hence you are win. Our first string QB is the best in the league, and not nearly as easy to replace as old noodle arm.

  29. Very entertaining game to watch.
    Props to the Packers for an unexpectedly tough fight.
    Congrats to the Steelers on the win. The killer B’s
    were just too much tonight.

    Great game winning kick by Boswell for what was a
    terrific and dramatic finish.

  30. The TJ Watt hit represents the Steeler Way. “Put a helmet on their helmet early and often.” Either DC Butler or HC Tomlin is coaching them to do this. Unlikely that Shazier, Mitchell, Tuitt, and now Watt are doing this unilaterally.

  31. Two titles in the past 50 SEASONS!
    Hardly “Titletown”, huh Cheeseheads??
    The Packers will be out of it by the time Rodgers comes back, IF he does at all!

    He turns 34 in December, so he will be 35 before he has another shot at a title
    Tick tick tick….one more broken collarbone and he DONE!

  32. Odd game. Steelers are a talented but undisciplined bunch. Played down to their opponent. The Def Coordinator Butler did little to disguise what the Steelers were doing defensively in coverage. Surprising given Hundley’s significant limitations with reading coverages and decision-making. The game shouldn’t have been nearly as close as it was for a bunch of reasons. But the Steelers’ lack of fire and vanilla defense at least made the game interesting against a rather mediocre foe.

    Jordy Nelson is cooked.

  33. As a Packer fan I’ll say that the Vikes have a far superior roster, congrats. Pack have obviously choked recently in the playoffs, but my friends to the west, your chokes carry a bit more weight as you have never lifted any type of trophy. So congrats on the division this year, something tells me an epic fail is around the corner….

  34. .
    @patsfan4life

    “The Steelers are a joke. The Patriots will beat the brakes off them.”

    ———

    A New York Jets fan who insults other teams using a Patriots screen name. Teams that have the best record in the conference are not a joke.
    .

  35. Steelers need some corner backs. Arte Burns had a terrible game, blown coverages, several missed tackles. This is clearly the Steelers’ Achilles heel. Brady and the Patriots will exploit this in a few weeks.

  36. Big Ben in last 2 victories 63 of 90, 650 yds, 8 tds, 2 ints, 111 passer rating and we talk about his 2 ints tonight? LOL cannot make this stuff up folks. If his name was Joe smoe all the headlines would be about Joe smoe leading a game winning 25 second drive!

  37. As a Viking fan.. good game Packers. Tough loss. On the other hand, Steelers, no way you get past NE. Though I hope you can. Pats fans are ignorant and small minded… much like cowboy fans.

  38. Steelers secondary looked a little shaky against Hundley (Hundley!). Should be interesting what Brady can do against them.

  39. Hundley actually was the one who lowered his helmet after becoming a runner, great non-call by the officials since it was Hundley and not Watt who caused the helmet to helmet contact.

  40. usdcoyotesfan says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Oh well. Great win, Steelers. Great game by both teams. Hundley showed that he’s not terrible against a good D. Between that and the fact that the Packers are desperate at 5-6, I like their chances of beating TB and CLE the next 2 weeks, and being 7-6 hopefully with Rodgers playing again.

    ÷÷÷÷

    Whoa, easy there. You’re really going out on a limb there saying that you like the Pack’s chances of beating two teams with a combined record of 4-18. My how expectations have fallen. This past summer Mr. Murphy stated that the Packers were going to the SB.

  41. Antonio Brown was clearly out of bounds and they also missed an obvious helmet to helmet. But since Goodell hates the Packers he won’t reprimand the Officials.

  42. This is why we love football! Everybody pretty much thought the Packers would get blown out myself included. Instead they gave us a entertaining game till the very end. Like they say any given Sunday.

  43. Nice participation trophy for the packers. But you lost.

    It’s funny that packer fans are talking about how good their team played even in losing.
    They are always the first fan base to rip any team, even when a playing good game, because said team hasnt won a Super Bowl.

    The packer offseason continues.

  44. shlort says:
    November 26, 2017 at 11:46 pm
    No one gave GB a sniff of a chance. The Steelers had all they wanted and like them or not, Green Bay played hard and had a chance to win the game. Should build some confidence. Look out if GB can manage to get into the playoffs.
    —————————————————
    “………..Playoffs? Playoffs? PLAYOFFS?…..we need to win a game……PLAYOFFS?……….”

  45. Wow. Even now. Even now the Viking trolls continue to be more fascinated with the Packers than their own team. Funny how that works. I wouldn’t think anybody would let something get that deep into their heads and allow it to have so much control!

    Especially now.

  46. How are you feeling today Steeler fans? That won’t get it done when your daddy’s come to town in a couple weeks. And the dancing around like they won the Super Bowl after edging out Brett Hundley, yes Brett Hundley, pathetic. Antonio Brown should be embarrassed.

  47. Nice gritty game by the Packers last night. Steelers had too many dropped passes, too many penalties and gave up too many third downs and big plays on defense. Yet again however, they managed to win the game which is all that matters in the NFL. The Steeler offense is playing much better while the defense is leaking a little bit without Haden. I’d also like to see Dupree make some plays and Burns to make some tackles.

  48. TJ Watt was not headhunting there. Hundley turned awkwardly into Watt – sometimes helmets hit – guys are leading w/ their shoulders. The refs didn’t blow the game – McCarthy did. There are about 30 other coaches in the league that wouldn’t attempt that FG in the FIRST qtr, let alone late in the game. 57 yds in Heinz Fd in (almost) Dec is plain stupid.

  49. @shlort…look out for the packers if they make the playoffs, they’ve lost 5 of 6, there only win in that span is a against a 3 win bears team….the browns played the steelers tough an lost by a fg as well, should we look out for them too smh

  50. 2 games and 2 losses ago I said the Packers needed to go 2-2 over the next four games for any chance of AR to return. Well, it isn’t looking good. Of course, I said 1-3 over those four was going to be lucky. The smart decision is for AR to shut it down for the season. Then again, McCarthy needs a job, and hanging Aaron out to dry against the Vikings defense will be the move he makes.

  51. Congrats to the Steelers on the win and GB on a more competitive and entertaining game than anyone saw coming. As the article noted the Steelers secondary is lacking in depth but what the article failed to note was Pittsburgh once again found a way to win a game that in the past they would have lost. More than anything else that alone makes them a better team than they have been in years.

  52. What was destined for a blowout, actually turned out to be a pretty good game. Now we feel how other teams have felt when AR has beat them at the last second.

    Encouraging signs, but a lot of work left to do. I feel a little better about the next 2 considering how Hundley played. GB played with fire we hadnt seen since AR went out. Won’t be easy, but we looked better than we have by far. Containing the steelers play makers is tough to do, especially for a Capers led defense who once again gave up 30+. Blake is a beast though. We did get some turnovers that helped out quite a bit, but Capers still can’t stop anyone. I really think he needs to go and let someone else try. We have talent, its just not utilized very well.

    I am not sure what MM was thinking on the FG attempt. Really a brainfart and a horrible call that shifted the momentum. However, to have a shot with 1:30 left in the game is about all you can ask for considering. Just came up a little short.

    Basically GB has to win out for a chance – its been done before.

    toodlez

  53. You mean a team the Ravens trounced gave the Steelers a run for their money and you’re STILL praising the Steelers defense? All it shows is the problem the AFC North teams seem to have had for years..they play tough against the tough opponents and barely show up against the ones they should steamroll, usually.

  54. stellarperformance says:
    November 27, 2017 at 6:44 am
    Wow. Even now. Even now the Viking trolls continue to be more fascinated with the Packers than their own team. Funny how that works. I wouldn’t think anybody would let something get that deep into their heads and allow it to have so much control!

    Especially now.
    ——————————

    How about now Dilly Dilly?

  55. vikingjack73 says:
    November 27, 2017 at 12:16 am
    Two titles in the past 50 SEASONS!
    Hardly “Titletown”, huh Cheeseheads??
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
    How many championship awards are in the Vikings trophy case ?
    NONE !! That says it all.

  56. Great game by the Pack. And you know, if the crack about Viking trolls commenting on a Packer article had come from anyone other than the person who not only comments on every Viking article, but mentions the Vikings in other articles as well, then the response might carry a bit more weight than an empty beer can.

  57. As much as everyone’s drooling over the Antonio Brown catch, the throw was just as epic. Double covered, they know it’s coming and Roethlisberger drops it in where only Brown get can get it. Anybody who thinks Ben is “finished” needs to lay off the crack pipe. This dude’s still got it. WAY still got it.

  58. I am not sure what MM was thinking on the FG attempt. Really a brainfart and a horrible call that shifted the momentum. However, to have a shot with 1:30 left in the game is about all you can ask for considering. Just came up a little short.
    =====

    Mason Crosby career FG% from 50+ yards – 50.8% (29 of 57)

    Stephen Gostkowski – 75.8% (22 of 29)
    Dan Bailey – 69.4% (25 of 36)
    Justin Tucker – 69.5% (32 of 46)

    And per NBC, the longest FG kicked in that building is 53 yards.

    So of course, Dilly Dilly Mike trots out his kicker for a 57 yarder………….

    Nothing can be said to justify that decision.

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