Packers vs. Steelers: Interview with Still Curtain

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Ben Roethlisberger
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 12: Ben Roethlisberger /

Ahead of the Green Bay Packers’ Week 12 meeting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, we spoke to Noah Strackbein of Still Curtain.

The Packers run into a red-hot Steelers club this week. Can Green Bay put last week’s shutout in the past and find a way to beat Pittsburgh on the road? There sure isn’t much optimism around Packers News Report.

I spoke to Noah Strackbein to get the perspective of a Steelers fan. He gives some insight on the Packers’ opponents and also makes a prediction for the game.

The Steelers are No. 4 in total defense, No. 2 in scoring defense, No. 3 against the pass and No. 8 against the run. Those are impressive numbers. What’s been Pittsburgh’s key to success defensively this year?

NS: The Steelers’ defensive success this season has come from the secondary. Last season, this team could rely on the front seven to defend against the run when healthy, but there was no firepower in the secondary.

As Artie Burns and Sean Davis continue to become stars and players like Coty Sensabaugh and Mike Hilton make big plays for this team, the defense will continue to improve. Even without Joe Haden, expect this defense to impress.

Is this Steelers team better equipped for a Super Bowl run than in recent years?

NS: Yes. The biggest issue in years past has been the defense. Ben Roethlisberger may not be able to lead this team like he use to, but with the weapons he has around him, the running game of Le’Veon Bell and the improvement on the defensive end, this team is ready to take on anyone in the AFC. Obviously, New England is the biggest threat still, but Pittsburgh is optimistic they can handle the Patriots with this team.

How would you rate Ben Roethlisberger’s performances this season compared to previous years?

NS: He may not be as explosive with the deep ball as he’s been throughout his career, but he’s adapted to an aging body well. He makes much smarter plays with shorter routes and still finds ways to get guys like Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster open for big gains. People tend to think that just because he can’t throw it 60 yards down the field on target means his career is over, but he’s adjusted better than most quarterbacks his age do and it’s showing.

Everyone knows what Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell bring to the table, but is there a player to look out for that Packers fans might not be familiar with?

NS: On the offensive end, it’s probably Jesse James. He’s been a silent killer this season for Pittsburgh and has come in clutch a few times this year. Not every game is a big one for him, but when the defense begins to ignore him he takes advantage.

On defense, it’s Mike Hilton. He’s been a monster all season after coming out of nowhere on the practice squad. Hilton loves to take advantage of poor quarterback play and if Hundley makes a few mistakes in this one they’ll likely be in the way of Hilton.

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Finally, what is your prediction for the game?

NS: Steelers 28, Packers 17. Green Bay without Aaron Rodgers doesn’t have enough firepower to handle Pittsburgh’s defense. They’ll keep it close for a while, but eventually, the Steelers are going to gain enough momentum, especially at Heinz Field, to take control of this game.