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With Rodgers Still Not Cleared To Play, Packers Prepare For Pittsburgh

Posted by Stan Simmons on 2/4/2014 4:46:47 AM

After a remarkable come-from-behind win against the Dallas Cowboys, the Green Bay Packers will try to keep their season alive. They’ll probably have to do so without Aaron Rodgers again.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers – Sunday, December 22

Sports betting line: No line

Why Pittsburgh Will Win

This is a situation in which the Steelers ought be able to correct their problems. Yes, this is a team with many weaknesses, but if you thought that Pittsburgh was just going to fold the tent after being knocked out of the playoffs in week 14, the Steelers sent the NFL a different message in week 15. Pittsburgh raced to a huge lead and held on for a comfortable victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, who entered week 15 with a chance to gain a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs. Pittsburgh functioned smoothly on both sides of the ball, giving a little bit of ground in the second half but never being seriously threatened despite having less talent than the Bengals. This is a team that will continue to fight hard. When you know that a 6-8 team won’t tank, and will instead compete to the end of the season, you can’t write it off very easily

The other obvious reason to take Pittsburgh is that Green Bay’s best player has still not been allowed (at press time) to return to action. If quarterback Aaron Rodgers is ruled okay to play later this week, you will likely see Green Bay become a favorite of at least a touchdown, maybe even 10 points. The reputation of Aaron Rodgers is going to carry some weight in Las Vegas, which would give the Packers a few extra points with respect to the line. If you see a betting line that puts the Packers as a favorite of nothing more than a field goal, or maybe four points at most, you will be able to tell that Rodgers has been ruled out of this contest. If Rodgers is not involved, this becomes anyone’s game, and the Steelers – with Ben Roethlisberger on the field, compared to Matt Flynn of the Packers – would have the better quarterback.

Why Green Bay Will Win

When online football betting analysts look at this game, they’re going to realize something that they probably weren’t willing to see or accept a few weeks ago: Pittsburgh needs a substantial makeover. It is true that if receiver Antonio Brown had not stepped out of bounds on the final play of regulation in a game against Miami a few weeks ago, the Steelers might now be 7-7 with an outside chance of still making the playoffs. Since this is not the case, Pittsburgh’s level of urgency should decrease, and that could give Green Bay just enough of an opening to win, even without Aaron Rodgers. Matt Flynn, after all, did help the Packers escape a 26-3 halftime deficit last week against the Dallas Cowboys.

Who Will Win

The absence of Aaron Rodgers will limit the Packers’ offense, but a sense of urgency when compared to Pittsburgh should give Green Bay just enough of a push to win.

NFL Betting Pick: Packers

For the latest NFL betting spreads and other informational nuggets, click here.


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