The thought that ran through Packers fans collective heads after Justin Tucker nailed a 61 yard field gold to beat the Detroit Lions was the same thing. Oh my God, we control our own destiny. I saw that Eagles coach Chip Kelly disputed the term “control your own destiny” completely. Kelly argued that destiny is predetermined and that regardless of a team’s place in the playoff standings, it was not possible to control destiny.
That got me to thinking about the other thing relevant to this game that it seems like nobody can control: Dr. McKenzie’s willingness to allow Aaron Rodgers to play. One would think that with Rodgers having been on the mend for 45 days and the playoffs attainable simply by winning the next two games that Rodgers would be preparing to start. Later today we will hear QB1’s fate but regardless the team is preparing to beat a Steelers team whose season is over.
Why the Packers Will Win: First of all, Rodgers might play. If AR plays, the Packers are right back to the 5-2 team that is far better than the Steelers that they were before he went down. If Rodgers is unable to go, however, there is still hope. The Packers are a better team than the Steelers with Matt Flynn at the helm. They really shouldn’t’ have a problem moving the ball. Pittsburgh has struggled with injury all season and just lost their best pass rusher, Lamar Woodley for the season. If the Packers can shut down Antonio Brown, the Steelers offensive line will allow Green Bay’s defense to harass Ben Roethlisberger. The biggest deciding factor just might be that the Packers are desperate and the Steelers have nothing to play for.
Why the Steelers Will Win: I give Pittsburgh no chance to win this game if Aaron Rodgers is cleared to play. If that happens the Steelers defense will not be able to stop the Pacers and the Packers defense will finally be allowed to play with a lead. If Flynn plays however it’s completely possible that the red hot Big Ben will be able to move the ball on a still struggling Packers defense. The Packers offense has had a terrible habit of digging itself a huge hole in the last 4 games. If that continues it’s possible that Troy Polamalu and the Steelers defense will not allow yet another epic Matt Flynn comeback.
Bottom Line: I am now torn on whether or not I believe Aaron Rodgers is going to play. Reading the tea leaves myself I believed that he was going to be cleared to play today. Reading a lot of other writers’ opinions on the subject however, I am less optimistic. I’m going to make this prediction based on the more popular belief that the Packers are going to operate with Matt Flynn at QB. I honestly believe this is the first game that the Packers win under Flynn from start to finish. The Packers are a more talented team than Pittsburgh and have everything to play for. The Steelers don’t. Packers 33 Steelers 24