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Packers-Steelers Recap: Hundley shows improvement, but Green Bay falls late

It wasn’t quite enough to overtake one of the league’s best teams, but the Packers QB showed more promise in this game than all his previous starts combined.

Green Bay Packers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

That’s about as good as one can feel about a backup quarterback after a loss.

On Sunday night, the Green Bay Packers got a drastically improved performance from Brett Hundley against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Packers defense forced a trio a turnovers. However, it wasn’t quite enough to overcome one of the NFL’s best teams on the road and in prime time, as Chris Boswell’s 53-yard field goal with no time left sent Pittsburgh to a 31-28 victory.

Hundley threw for 245 yards and three touchdowns, completing 17 of 26 passes without an interception. In fact, the Packers forced three turnovers and committed none, but they could not contain Antonio Brown (and after all, who can?) as he went off for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

Following a lengthy opening kickoff return by Martavis Bryant, the Packers allowed the Steelers to methodically move the ball down the field and score on a 12-play, 59-yard drive. That series culminated in a one-yard touchdown from Ben Roethlisberger to Xavier Grimble. The Packers responded however, with a pair of touchdowns sandwiched around a Damarious Randall interception. On the Packers’ first series, Hundley found Randall Cobb in the Turkey Hole for a 39-yard score, then three plays after the pick, Jamaal Williams took a screen pass 54 yards to the house for a 14-6 Packers lead.

The Steelers tied the game midway through the second quarter on a touchdown to Bryant, but the Packers took a seven-point lead right after halftime as Hundley found Davante Adams up the right sideline. The ball was a bit underthrown, and Adams had to slow up and work his way into the middle of the field, weaving his way into the end zone for a 55-yard score and a 21-14 lead. A Blake Martinez interception on the next series went for naught, as Mason Crosby missed a 57-yard field goal attempt, which led to another tying touchdown from Pittsburgh, a one-yarder to Antonio Brown.

Le’Veon Bell fumbled early on in the fourth quarter, but the Packers went three and out after that, and Pittsburgh capitalized with another score by Brown — this one from 33 yards. That gave them a 28-21 lead, which the Packers erased with a lengthy 12-play drive, capped off by Jamaal Williams’ second touchdown of the day, a four-yard run.

However, both teams went traded punts in the final two minutes of the game before Pittsburgh set up Boswell’s winning field goal with a pair of passes to Brown, including one up the sideline that was reviewed by the booth but upheld.

All in all, Packers fans should be encouraged by the significantly improved play of the offense, especially considering the Steelers’ defense entered the day ranked in the top five in most major categories. Hundley’s and Williams’ performances were ones to build on, as the team finally got some explosive plays in the passing game.

Next up the Packers return home to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.