Minnesota Vikings (1-0) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0)
Sunday, September 17, 2017 – Noon CT
There is one ominous question that remains as we head into Sunday’s business meeting between the Vikings and Steelers:
Will Sam Bradford play?
The question doesn’t yet have an answer but the Vikings were concerned enough to sign practice squad QB, Alex Sloter, to the active roster Saturday. The plan was to have just 2 QB’s active for Sunday’s game, until Bradford was still at a questionable status on Saturday.
— Darren Wolfson (@DWolfsonKSTP) September 16, 2017
This whole thing has thrown me for a loop. I expected to be writing this and jumping out on the #SKOL ledge to call an easy Vikings victory. With the doubt creeping in on a healthy Sam Bradford, the doubt in my mind is just as thick.
IF a healthy Sam Bradford hits the Heinz Field Grass, then this game is the Vikings to lose. Well, that is if we see the same offensive line we saw last week. They really are the key to this season, and the key to this game. That is where we will start.
Keys to a Victory
Whether Bradford plays or not, the offensive line is BY FAR the MOST IMPORTANT key to this game. We all saw what Bradford did last week when he was given the time he needs. It is like he is back in Oklahoma throwing all over shitty college defenses… and good ones. The Steelers defense only allowed 57 rushing yards and 180 pass yards last week. BUT, it was against the Cleveland Browns. Is the Vikings’ O-line from last week the real deal? Or, was it just a bad Saints’ defense. We should find out on Sunday
Xavier Rhodes vs Antonio Brown:
This is the biggest reason for my optimism vs the Steelers. Every time Xavier Rhodes gets matched up against a big time receiver, he dazzles. It got him a massive contract. I expect him to slow Brown down as well as anyone will this season. Just ask Odell Beckham how he feels about Xavier covering him.
Vikings D-Line/Linebackers vs Le’Veon Bell:
This is the 3rd key and possibly the most overlooked. It is overlooked because the Vikings defense has been so good at stopping the run in its recent history, especially last week. Bell wasn’t very good last week either, rushing for just 32 yards on 10 carries. His offensive line was bad. The Vikings’ defense needs to take advantage of that and jump on Bell and the o-line early. Don’t give them any confidence. We don’t want to see the “normal” Bell in this game. Save that for someone else.
After the issues with Bradford, I am looking at him and the Vikings’ offensive line. If he plays and the offensive line protects him, the Vikings have a good chance and should win, given the other keys. The Vikings defense should get pressure on Big Ben and be able to slow Bell, with the poor offensive line play the Steelers showed last game. We have the best D-Line in the league. The pressure should help to slow Bell as long as the Vikings can keep Ben from scrambling and creating too much extra time.
Prediction (If Bradford Plays):
27-17 Vikings WIN
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan