GREEN BAY – The Packers improved to 2-0 on the preseason with a 51-34 victory over the Steelers on Thursday night at Lambeau Field.
Green Bay got production from all angles, as the Packers QBs combined for three touchdown passes and the defense ran back two interceptions for TDs.
Here’s a recap of all the action:
Wild first quarter ends with Packers up, 17-14
The Packers’ defense came out like gangbusters. CB Tramon Williams intercepted Steelers QB Mason Rudolph on the game’s first play and returned it 21 yards for a score. Green Bay then forced a three-and-out, and a poor punt bounced out of bounds at the Pittsburgh 40.
QB Aaron Rodgers got Green Bay going on his second snap of the preseason, hitting WR Davante Adams on a slant that went for 27 yards. After the teams traded 5-yard penalties, third-and-5 from the 8-yard line produced a touchdown from Rodgers to TE Jimmy Graham, and the Packers led, 14-0, barely more than three minutes into the game.
Pittsburgh responded with RB James Conner, who carried the ball on three straight plays – for 8, 24 and 26 yards for a touchdown (with a facemask penalty on the Packers thrown in, on the second rush).
The Steelers got the ball back immediately as RB Ty Montgomery fumbled the kickoff, and it took Pittsburgh just two plays to score. From the Green Bay 25, Rudolph hit TE Jesse James on a crossing route, and he went 21 yards. Rudolph then found WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard TD to tie the game at 14 with 9:56 left in the quarter.
QB Brett Hundley took over for the Packers, and he scrambled for a first down on third-and-2. A defensive pass interference on a throw over the middle for Graham got the ball across midfield, and a 9-yard pass to Montgomery converted on third-and-3 to put the Packers in the red zone.
A zero-yard sack by former Packers S Morgan Burnett helped Pittsburgh stall the drive, though, and K Mason Crosby was good from 36 yards out to put the Packers back in front, 17-14.
A 19-yard pass from Rudolph to WR Justin Hunter started Pittsburgh’s next drive, and RB Fitzgerald Touissant followed with runs of 8 and 10 yards. But the Packers stopped it there, as CB Davon House had tight coverage on WR Damoun Patterson on third-and-6 from the Green Bay 34. House then made the tackle on WR James Washington for a 1-yard loss when the Steelers went for it on fourth down.
Hundley found TE Marcedes Lewis for 23 yards, and 15 yards were tacked on for lowering the helmet. Another completion to TE Lance Kendricks for 15 yards put the Packers in the red zone as the quarter expired.
Green Bay owns second quarter, leads 34-14 at half
The Packers scored again on the second play of the period, as Hundley scrambled 10 yards to paydirt.
Green Bay’s defense got a three-and-out deep in Pittsburgh territory, and the Packers took over near midfield. On first down, RG Justin McCray was slow to get up after a screen pass to RB Jamaal Williams for 6 yards, and McCray walked off limping under his own power. It was announced he had a calf injury.
WR Jake Kumerow took a slant pass 20 yards, but a third-down sack by LB Bud Dupree forced the Packers to settle for a 53-yard field goal by Crosby. Green Bay led, 27-14, with 9:47 left in the half.
Green Bay’s defense turned in another three-and-out, and QB DeShone Kizer came in to replace Hundley. Kizer’s first pass was good for 13 yards to Kendricks, but that was all, and rookie JK Scott’s first punt of the night was just 29 yards.
LB Reggie Gilbert sacked Rudolph on first down and forced a fumble, but Rudolph was able to recover. On third down, Gilbert got to Rudolph again, and LB Kyler Fackrell cleaned up, forcing the Steelers to punt.
Kizer hit Kumerow for 12 yards and then WR Equanimeous St. Brown for 12 more to the Pittsburgh 27. A pass to TE Robert Tonyan went for 14 yards, and then Tonyan was interfered with in the end zone, making it first-and-goal on the 1. Two plays later, Kizer and Tonyan connected on the corner fade for the TD with 38 seconds left in the half.
Big plays continue for Packers, leading 48-28
Kizer started the second half by hitting WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling for 15 yards on third-and-10, but that was it on the opening drive.
Pittsburgh’s second half on offense started just like the first, as QB Joshua Dobbs was picked off on the second play by rookie CB Josh Jackson, who took it 22 yards down the sideline untouched for the score.
An unsportsmanlike penalty on the Packers on the TD return moved the kickoff back 5 yards, and then Scott kicked it out of bounds, putting Pittsburgh on the Green Bay 45 to start. Dobbs hit Washington on passes of 20 and 19 yards, the latter for the TD as the receiver outjumped CB Demetri Goodson for the ball in the end zone. Dobbs ran for two points and the Steelers pulled within 41-22 with 10:34 left in the quarter.
The Packers quickly answered, as Kizer connected with Kumerow near the sideline, and Kumerow broke free, taking it 82 yards in all for the touchdown. The Packers led, 48-22, but it was later announced Kumerow had a shoulder injury.
A holding penalty bogged down the Steelers’ next drive, and Jackson returned the punt 40 yards to the Pittsburgh 40 as undrafted rookie Tim Boyle took over at QB for the Packers.
A pair of penalties wiped out a nice pass to WR J’Mon Moore, and the Packers punted.
Dobbs hit Washington deep downfield for 54 yards to the Green Bay 14, and a third-down pass to TE Pharoah McKever made it first-and-goal on the 2. RB Jaylen Samuels took it in for the score, but the two-point pass was incomplete, leaving Green Bay ahead, 48-28.
Packers win big over Steelers, 51-34
The Packers tacked on a 50-yard Crosby field goal early in the fourth quarter to surpass 50 points in a preseason game for the first time since 2010. A 22-yard pass to TE Emanuel Byrd and an 18-yard run by RB Joel Bouagnon set up the kick.
Dobbs hit Washington again for another contested touchdown catch, this one in a tangle with CB Herb Waters. The 22-yard score made it 51-34, as the two-point pass was incomplete.