On Sunday Night Football, the Green Bay Packers traveled east to Western Pennsylvania to take on the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. On paper, this game seemed to be a mismatch as the home team was on a five-game win streak whereas the Packers had just been shutout at home. However, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Brett Hundley came out slinging and dazzling to prove the doubters wrong. Here are the week 12 Green Bay Packers takeaways.
Week 12 Green Bay Packers Takeaways
Brett Hundley Stars on Sunday Night Football
Coming off a home shutout opened a tsunami of criticism pointing towards the young signal caller. But, Hundley proved everyone wrong with a stellar performance. Hundley had an otherworldly first half going 7/9 for 128 yards and a pair of scores. The former UCLA Bruin was efficient through the air finishing the game 17/26 for 245 yards and three touchdowns and a 134.3 rating, but most importantly he did not commit a turnover. Hundley did more than just dump offs and screens. The third-year quarterback threw the ball down the field.
Success on Long Plays
The Steelers defense is one of the best in the league. They are second in yards per game (287.6), first in first downs allowed (15.9), and second in points per game (16.5). However, the Packers offense had a lot of success with big plays. In the opening quarter, Hundley threw touchdown passes to Randall Cobb (39 yards) and Jamaal Williams (54). In the third quarter, he hooked up with Davante Adams for a 55-yard touchdown pass.
Davante Adams is the Number One Receiver
Last season, Davante Adams and Jordy Nelson were both number one receivers However, in Aaron Rodgers’ absence, Adams has stepped up his play. The former Fresno State Bulldog has had strong performances in weeks nine through 12. He registered seven receptions for 53 yards against Detroit, then five for 90 against at Chicago, eight for 128 against Baltimore, and five for 82 including a touchdown at Pittsburgh. More importantly, Hundley looked at him on big plays like the fourth and six from the Steelers 12-yard line midway through the fourth quarter on the drive that would tie the game at 28.
Blake Martinez is Packers Best Defensive Player
In the past linebacker Blake Martinez was often injured, but this season he has taken his play to the next level. Martinez leads the team in tackles on the season (99), which is 45 more tackles than second-leading tackler safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. On Sunday, Martinez had one of the best performances of his career as he finished the game with 12 total tackles (three assisted), an interception, and a fumble recovery.
Damarious Randall Played Well
Damarious Randall has often been associated with missed tackles, dropped interceptions, and bad overall play. However, tonight the former Arizona State Sun Devil had a very strong performance. He had an interception, the ninth of his career. He also recorded five tackles including four assisted and was just a constant presence. Randall made life miserable for the Steelers receivers not named Antonio Brown. Although he missed some snaps due to cramps, Randall came back on the field before the end of the night.
If Green Bay can play at this high level in the next two weeks (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers and at Cleveland Browns), it is highly possible that the green and gold will be 7-6. If that were to happen, it would open the door for Rodgers to return and finish the season strong. However, before talking about a Rodgers comeback, the team has to play as well as they did tonight against the Steelers.