The third game is usually considered the most important game of the preseason. The starters will play longer and put forth more effort. It is the game in which fans will make a decision about how they feel about their starters heading into the season. And who coaches believe will make the final roster.
Here are five things to watch for on Sunday in the Steelers, Packers matchup:
NO. 5 – How many can stay healthy?
Nobody wants to see a starter get seriously injured during a preseason game. No doubt the plan is to see the starters thrive, but do so in a finesse sort of way.
No. 4 – Can Ben (Roethlisberger) connect with multiple receivers?
It’s pretty safe to say that Antonio Brown will catch a few passes. But, what fans want to see is receivers Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant and Sammie Coates develop more chemistry with Roethlisberger. Hopefully at least two of the receivers can score touchdowns.
No.3 – Can the defensive secondary hold its own against Aaron Rodgers?
Simply put, Rodgers is one of the best in the game. It will be interesting to see how the cornerbacks handle Rodgers’ quick throws, pump fakes and deep passes. Cortez Allen and safety Shamarko Thomas will be evaluated closely in this game
No.2 – How will the defensive front seven fare against the Packers run game?
Eddie Lacy is as physical as they come as a rusher. Middle linebacker Ryan Shazier has played well this preseason, but the one key thing many want to see is how he handles physcial running backs at the point of attack. Will the defensive line be able to penetrate in the backfield when the Packers try to run up the middle?
No.1 – How much pressure will be placed on Rodgers by the Steelers?
Rodgers is very difficult to sack due to his mobility and quick throwing abilty. If the Steelers can consistently pressure Rodgers, it will be a very encouraging sign moving forward. Knowing that the defense can sack Rodgers will lead many players to believe that they can pressure other quarterbacks.