The Steelers play the Minnesota Vikings this Sunday. Both teams are coming off victories, with the Steelers beating the Browns 21-18 and the Vikings beating the Saints 29-19. The Vikings looked dominating in their win as Sam Bradford threw with great accuracy, the running game with Dalvin Cook looked strong and the defense shut down the powerful Saints offense. Is that what we’ll see on Sunday or will the Steelers prevail? Let’s take a look at the matchups.
Vikings Offense vs. Steelers Defense
This game will be a major test for the Steelers defense. They had 7 sacks and an interception against the Browns, but…well…. that was the Browns. Sam Bradford is a not a rookie and if he has time to throw, he can pick apart any secondary. He’s also not going to hold the ball too much. The offensive line was a weakness last year, but only gave up one sack last week.
Rookie Dalvin Cook ran for 127 yards on 22 carries. If the Vikings can establish the run, it will be a long day for the Steelers defense.
The Steelers defense put a lot of pressure against the Browns quarterback, DeShone Kizer, and stopped the run. Their secondary was considered a weakness but looked better against the Browns.
Prediction: The Steelers are known for their blitzes and will throw a lot of them at Bradford to get him off his game. Bradford won’t get sacked much, but he will throw the ball away and the offensive will be ineffective.
Steelers Offense vs. Vikings Defense
The Steelers offense did not look very good against the Browns last Sunday for the most part. Why? Were they rusty because they hardly played in the preseason? Was it the Browns defense making them ineffective? Whatever the reason, I expect a better game this week. There’s too much talent at the skill positions and offensive line to have another bad game. The Steelers offensive line is considered one of the best in the league.
The Vikings defense is also considered one of the best in the league.
The matchup everyone wants see is how Antonio Brown will do against cornerback Xavier Rhodes. The strength of the defense is considered the line. They limited the Saints to 60 yards rushing and you know Adrian Peterson was dying to have a big game against his old team. It’s going to be fun to watch a very good defensive line go against a very good offensive line.
Prediction: If this game was in Minnesota (by the way the Super Bowl is also in Minnesota this year..hmm), the edge would go to the Vikings. However, it’s in Pittsburgh and Ben Roethlisberger is excellent at home. Expect the Steelers offense to have a few big plays to put them over the top.
This game is going to be fun to watch. Could it be a Super Bowl preview? I predict it’ll be low scoring, but the Steelers offense should score just enough to put them ahead.
Steelers 20, Vikings 17
Photo Credits: NFL.com
Lifelong Pittsburgh sports fan here.