Week 4: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers 17, Packers 28
Biggest storyline: Who comes out on top in a Super Bowl XLV rematch?
The Steelers came out on top of the AFC North last season, but couldn’t make it out of Wild Card Weekend in the playoffs where they lost to the Browns 48-37.
Despite the evident decline of Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh still has a lot of talent on its roster. Between young receivers like Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Scheuster, rookie RB Najee Harris out of Alabama, and a top-10 defense, the Steelers could certainly give the Packers a run for their money.
However, many were quick to discredit Pittsburgh’s 12-6 finish last season as they had one of the easiest schedules in the league.
With a young offensive corps, I’m expecting this Steelers’ offense to have a bit of a breakout season. With as early as the Packers are facing them, though, they won’t have it together enough to take down this Packers’ defense.
Week 5: at Cincinnati Bengals
Packers 42, Bengals 20
Biggest storyline: How does Joe Burrow look coming off a serious injury?
This matchup intrigues me just as far as seeing second-year QB Joe Burrow back in action, leading his team against a historically great organization.
Before Burrow’s knee injury in Week 11 of last season, Cincinnati was only 2-7-1 with their QB1.
Despite the excitement of drafting Burrow with the number one overall pick in 2020, this is a team that needs a serious rebuild if they want to contend for even a division title against the rest of the AFC North.
Five of the team’s six signings this off-season have been on the defensive side of the ball. They lost one of their most notable offensive players, WR A.J. Green, in a trade to the Arizona Cardinals. The Bengals had a very average middle-of-the-pack defense last season and seem to be building upon that more.
Put simply, this is not a team for Green Bay to lose sleep over.