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Pittsburgh Steelers Look to Continue Winning Ways Against the Green Bay Packers

December 22nd, 2013 at 12:05 AM
By Mark Mihalko
It is crazy what a suprisingly convincing victory will cause. As we sit on the eve of the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 16 contest against the Green Bay Packers,  the team still faces many unanswered questions, but incredibly, still have some microscopic playoff hopes. Yes, it will take a miracle, but there is a chance.
'Winding Up' photo (c) 2006, Joey Gannon - license:
One of the major questions that must be answered centers around the outside linebacker position. With LaMarr Woodley out, placed on the season ending injured reserve list, the team must find some depth. Chris Carter would be the likely candidate to receive increased playing time behind Jarvis Jones and Jason Worilds, but it would not be a surprise if a player such as Stevenson Sylvester or even Terrence Garvin sneak in some snaps. 
Worilds has become the center of attention, as he has quickly become the Steelers top off-season priority with the list of Woodley's ailments continually growing. Worilds appears to be ready to take control of that position, the question is can the Steelers re-sign him? With their dire salary cap situation, it is likely an either-or scenario.
The Steelers offense has been coming into its own, but there are still questions on defense and are hoping some continuity can develop and the unit can stop allowing huge plays. With Brett Keisel and nose tackle Steve McLendon potentially returning, they could get a needed boost in depth for what should be an ugly and physical battle in the elements. 
Key Match-Up: The easy selection would again be the defense. Instead, the key match-up will be the patchwork offensive line against the Packers front seven. The Steelers must do a better job running the ball and that has to start in the trenches. Last week, the use of play action was effective because they were decent on the ground, that will be extremely important if the weather matches the forecast.
Projected Inactive List: This week will be a tough one, as the entire injury report is filed with players listed as probable. With both Keisel and McLendon returning, it is likely that at least one defensive lineman makes the list. At this point, it would seem that quarterback Landry Jones, wide receiver Derek Moye, tight end David Paulson, guard David Snow, cornerback Isaiah Green, nose tackle Hebron Fangupo, and recently acquired linebacker Jamaal Westerman would make the list.  
Prediction:  To this point, the 2013 season has been a strange season. That trend will continue this season, as the defense forces some turnovers and the Steelers move the ball, but it will not be enough. This will be a close game, but the Packers win it late 27-24.
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Tags: Brett Keisel, David Paulson, Football, Green Bay Packers, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Steve McLendon

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