Steelers vs Packers – Match Recap – October 3, 2021
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin – – Randall Cobb demonstrated why Aaron Rodgers wanted the veteran wide receiver to return to Green Bay.
Rodgers connected with Cobb for two touchdowns and ran for another score as the Packers won their third straight game, 27-17 against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday.
Cobb started his career in Green Bay and played for the Packers from 2011-18 before landing in Dallas in 2019 and Houston last year. The Packers bought out Cobb early in training camp at Rodgers’ request.
“He’s still a really good player,” said Rodgers.
Cobb caught a 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to give the Packers the advantage (3-1) and score again on a Reception 1 yard that brought the score to 27-10 in the third period. The short throw was Rodgers’ 420th touchdown pass of his career, tying Dan Marino for sixth all-time.
Cobb said it didn’t take long for him to adjust to playing alongside Rodgers again.
“He understands how I move, so whenever I’m about to take a break on my route, he knows it,” Cobb said. “It’s muscle memory. It’s been a few years, but it’s kind of like when you reunite with your friends and remember things you haven’t even thought about for so long. It’s kind of that connection that we have.
In the first three games, Cobb had four catches for 58 yards. He caught five passes for 69 yards on Sunday.
Rodgers and Cobb connected on two completed third downs that set up the Green Bay touchdown. Cobb’s go-ahead score also came in third.
“I’m proud to be the third point guard,” said Cobb.
Rodgers hit 20 of 36 for 248 yards and scored the Packers’ first points on a 4-yard run in his first home start against the Steelers, the only team he had not faced at Lambeau Field.
After falling behind 7-0, Green Bay scored 27 of the next 30 points to take control.
The Unable to Play Packers roster on Sunday included linebacker Krys Barnes, offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins, cornerback Kevin King and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Green Bay have missed All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari all season and haven’t had outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith since opening week.
“I thought it was a mature win,” said coach Matt LaFleur. “Just our whole mentality all week, it was very professional. The guys arrived very focused. I felt the energy was excellent.
Pittsburgh (1-3) has lost three straight, failing to score 17 points in each game, after a surprising season opener at Buffalo. Since the opening of the 2020 season with 11 straight wins, the Steelers have lost eight out of 10.
“It’s still very early in the season,” said Steelers outside linebacker TJ Watt. “Home next week, and like every week, it’s a must. But that feeling really sucks.”
It was the first time Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger faced each other as starting quarterbacks since Green Bay edged Pittsburgh 31-25 in the Super Bowl on February 6, 2011. Roethlisberger led the Steelers to wins over Green’s teams Bay led by Matt Flynn in 2013 and Brett Hundley in 2017, as separate collarbone injuries kept Rodgers from playing in either game.
Roethlisberger threw his 400th career touchdown pass on the game’s opening streak – 45 yards for Diontae Johnson – and became the eighth player to reach that milestone. That ended an 11-game streak in which the Pittsburgh offense failed to score any points in the first quarter.
But the Steelers didn’t return to the end zone until Najee Harris scored one yard with 4:10 left in the game. Roethlisberger finished 26 of 40 for 232 yards with an interception.
“I’m going to look at myself in the mirror and start pointing a thumb at me, figure out how to improve it,” Roethlisberger said.
Pittsburgh got a tough break just before half-time as a penalty wiped out a blocked touchdown that would have given the Steelers the lead.
Green Bay was leading 14-10 when Pittsburgh’s Minkah Fitzpatrick blocked Mason Crosby’s 31-yard field goal attempt. Fitzpatrick recovered the ball and ran 75 yards to the end zone, but officials called Pittsburgh’s Joe Haden offside. Crosby had the 26-yard field goal that followed with 5 seconds left in the first half.
Crosby added 29 yards in the third quarter for his 24th consecutive successful field goal attempt, breaking his own franchise record. Crosby was 23 in a row from 2010-11.
Steelers: CB Cam Sutton (groin) and OG Kevin Dotson (leg) have left the game.
Packers: CB Jaire Alexander (shoulder) started in the third quarter.
Steelers: Host Denver next Sunday.
Packers: In Cincinnati next Sunday.
Follow Steve Megargee on https://twitter.com/stevemegargee