The Pittsburgh Steelers are not a franchise that’s accustomed to being embarrassed on the field.
The case could be made that Thursday night’s blowout loss to the Packers wasn’t really an embarrassment because the Steelers elected not to play offensive players like Roethlisberger, Landry Jones, or Antonio Brown (and because it was a preseason game), but that doesn’t explain the dominance by the Packers offense.
The Steelers effort almost seemed doomed from the start, as Mason Randolph tossed a kindly pick-six to Tramon Williams on the first play from scrimmage. Randolph’s nightmare continued as he totalled just 47 yards passing in the first half and completed less than 50% of his passes, despite connecting on a short TD pass to up-and-coming WR Juju Smith-Schuster after Ty Montgomery fumbled a kickoff.
That score would be the Steelers’ second, and would make it briefly appear like the Steelers might stay in the game. There was no such Steel City luck to be had, though, as the Green Bay offense and defense both came alive, wracking up points and sacking Randolph three times late in the second quarter.
By half-time, the Packers had already scored 34 points and were 20 points ahead of the hapless Steelers. On the Steelers first possession of the second half, rookie CB Josh Jackson took a Joshua Dobbs pass to the house in an eerily similar pick to the 1st quarter play by Tramon Williams. The Packers found themselves up 41–14 after Deshone Kizer hit Jake Kumero for an 82-yard score, and they began letting off the gas a little more than midway through the third quarter.
The Steelers would eventually claw their way to a 51–34 deficit through nearly a quarter and a half of garbage time, but the final score was not indicative of the thrashing they took during the significant minutes of the game. The Steelers may be facing some serious passing challenges if Roethlisberger misses games as he frequently has in recent seasons and if Landry Jones cannot rise to savior status.