Rejuvenated running games take center stage in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren (30) finds running room against the Tennessee Titans
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren (30) finds running room against the Tennessee Titans / Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA

One franchise has captured more NFL titles (13) than any other in the history of the NFL. The other is tied for the most Lombardi Trophies (6) during the Super Bowl Era. However, there hasn’t been a lot of championship success when it comes to these clubs as of late.

Interestingly enough, the last time the Packers and Steelers reached the “Big Game” was the same season. It was 2010 when Mike McCarthy’s wild card club knocked off the Black and Gold in Super Bowl XLV, 31-25, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

That was a clash between quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger, both no longer with their respective teams for different reasons. These days, Green Bay is led by head coach and quarterback Jordan Love, the latter in his first year as a starter. Mike Tomlin’s club is commandeered by Kenny Pickett, in his second year as the main man behind center.

Last week, both the Packers and Steelers won home games and there were certainly some similarities. Both scored exactly 20 points and each team finished the game with a season-high in rushing yards. The latter fact could be the focus on Sunday in the Steel City as both clubs have struggled with offensive consistency.

Green Bay got 73 of its 184 yards on the ground last Sunday from talented running back Aaron Jones. He also scored a touchdown on a three-year jaunt. The Packers totaled 38 rushing attempts and controlled the ball for 35:16

The Steelers tried something new in what proved to be a 20-16 prime time win over the Tennessee Titans. Much-maligned offensive coordinator Matt Canada was on the sidelines and not in the coaching box, and 2023 first-round pick Broderick Jones got the start at right tackle. Pittsburgh ran for a season-best 166 yards thanks mainly to the combination of Jaylen Warren (88) and Najee Harris (69), the latter running for a first-quarter touchdown.


Both Green Bay (23rd) or Pittsburgh (29th) have been less than impressive when it comes to stopping the run, as their run defense rankings indicate. It could be a big day for both ground attacks. Will it make for a fast afternoon in the Steel City?

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