The Green Bay Packers Need Ryan Grant To "Unleash Hell" On Sliding Steelers

Ryan CardarellaCorrespondent IDecember 19, 2009

CHICAGO - DECEMBER 13: Ryan Grant #25 of the Green Bay Packers tries to break away from Lance Briggs #55 and Gaines Adams #99 of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on December 13, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Packers defeated the Bears 21-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


"We will unleash hell in December."

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin issued this warning to the rest of the league, anticipating a strong stretch run from his defending Super Bowl championship club.

However, the only thing that the Steelers have unleashed as of late is a string of embarrassing losses to the dregs of the NFL, the latest an ugly 13-6 loss at Cleveland that has put their playoff aspirations on life support.

But with a blistering winter storm blasting the east coast this weekend, the Green Bay Packers will likely have to unleash their running game in order to beat the Steelers on their notoriously sloppy home field.

Is Ryan Grant up to the task?

He certainly was a week ago in Chicago, rumbling through an injury-riddled Bears defense for 137 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-14 Packers victory.

Grant's performance offset a pedestrian game for quarterback Aaron Rodgers (16 of 24, 180 yards) and the passing attack, as Rodgers failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

Green Bay passed an important test last Sunday in winning a physical game without an explosive performance from their passing game.

They will have to pass a stiffer one against a tougher Steeler defense in order to leave Pittsburgh with their winning streak intact.

While Donald Driver and the receiving corps may not like the game plan, it's difficult to imagine Rodgers and the Packers winning at Heinz Field without a big game from Grant.

The weather forecast, combined with a strong Pittsburgh pass rush, makes the performance of Grant and the running game critical to ending the Steelers playoff hopes.

Look for a repeat of the Packers dedication to the running game and TE Jermichael Finley, and for the game to be decided on whether Grant can do his best Edgar Bennett impression in poor field conditions.