The rollercoaster ride continues for the Green Bay Packers, as their 2023 season is filled with lots of peaks and valleys. In their Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, there were a lot of positive takeaways (especially for the offense), but it still wasn’t enough.
Too many field goals on a day where just one more touchdown would have won the game, the Packers weren’t able to take advantage of a seesaw game on the road. One of the best games of the year for Jordan Love went to waste, but he certainly isn’t absolved of any shortcomings either.
One of the big reasons Green Bay lost their sixth game of the season was the lack of efficiency that Aaron Jones had. Usually it’s an issue of not having Jones incorporated into the offense enough, but a week of 17 touches (four receptions) only resulted in 54 total yards, an average of 3.2 yards per touch.
While Jones did earn more carries than AJ Dillon, Dillon was far more effective on the ground, as his nine touches for 70 yards outpaced Jones’ 13 carries for 35 yards. Even if you take out the 40-yard-run that Dillon had, eight carries for 30 yards still carries a higher average than Jones’s impact on the ground.
Jordan Love looked very comfortable in the pocket on Sunday, as he repeatedly climbed the pocket and did his best to avoid the tough Pittsburgh pass rush. Only taking one sack marked the fifth time Love either was kept clean or only sacked once, and the first since Green Bay’s loss to the Broncos.
289 yards was Love’s highest passing yardage output this season, but his two costly interceptions, including one on the final play of the game, ultimately cost Green Bay a shot at the win. While two turnovers will overshadow his performance, there are a lot of positives to take away for Love.
Jayden Reed (5/84/1), Luke Musgrave (2/64), and Dontayvion Wicks (3/51) led the receivers, as six different players caught at least two passes. His lack of reliance on just one receiver is a good thing for a young QB, especially when locking into a target can lead to costly turnovers.
324 total yards of offense was what the Steelers produced in their win, but it was tough sledding for Pittsburgh to hit that amount. The Green Bay defense did well to limit the damage and keep the Steelers out of the end zone in the second half, but it wasn’t enough.
Kenny Pickett only threw for 126 yards and the combination of Diontae Johnson (1/17) and George Pickens (3/45) were held in check by a secondary that was missing Jaire Alexander (back injury). But allowing over 200 yards rushing and over five yards per carry is what helped the Steelers control the pace of the game, and Joe Barry didn’t seem willing to make that adjustment mid-game.
The run-heavy approach by Pittsburgh certainly shouldn’t have surprised Barry or Matt LaFleur, and yet the coaching staff showed that they had no interest in trying to shut down the strongest part of their opposing offense. Coaching malpractice has buried this team far too many times this season, and while Barry’s unit has performed well over the past few weeks, there are many areas they still can improve upon.
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23