In week two, the Minnesota Vikings travel to Heinz Field to square off with the Pittsburgh Steelers after both teams picked up victories in their week one match ups.
Previewing The Vikings
Week One Result: Vikings 29, Saints 19
The Vikings picked up a win on Monday Night Football over the Saints with a good showing from a few offensive players.
While the Saints have an awful defense, so the performance on the Vikings’ offensive side of the ball may be deceiving. Time will tell when they run into a much more solidified Steelers unit on Sunday.
Sam Bradford had one of his best performances Monday night. He completed 84.4% of his passes last night while tossing for 346 yards and three touchdowns. Bradford, the NFL’s leader in completion percentage in 2016, did what he does last night and completes passes.
People forget Bradford was the number one pick in 2010 out of Oklahoma when the, formerly known, St. Louis Rams, made him their guy. He wasn’t good there just as Jared Goff, has yet to really show off in Los Angeles. But Bradford had everything needed to be a reliable quarterback. He won’t be a franchise saver for anyone. But, when the Vikings came calling after Teddy Bridgewater snapped his knee last season, Bradford has been nothing but consistent for the Vikings.
Bradford however, is injured and Case Keenum will start in his place. This is a big loss for the Vikings offense.
Two receivers, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs had breakout games and accounted for the majority of what Bradford’s stat line looked like.
Thielen had 157 yards on nine receptions and really saw the ball thrown his way often last night. Diggs only had 93 yards but was Bradford’s touchdown target as he caught two of Bradford’s three. The Steelers cornerbacks may have their hands full keeping these guys in check Sunday.
It is inevitable that Bradford will likely complete 70% of his passes or more. Include rookie running back Dalvin Cook into the mix and this Vikings offense could pose a big threat for the Steelers defense.
As far as the Vikings defense goes, they won’t make a ton of splash plays, but they are a solid unit. They aren’t a bad defense by any means, but they don’t have many big-time playmakers. Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes are the big splash players for Minnesota. Their secondary also includes names such as Trae Waynes, Marcus Sherels, and Terrence Newman.
The offense will win the game for the Vikings if they are to be victorious.
Keys for the Steelers
The offense has to play better. Whether it’s the gameplan or the execution, it has to get better from last week’s putrid performance in Cleveland. They need to clean up the penalties, which should help the offense play with shorter yardage situations. The Steelers look to be solid in the red zone, but they will need to sustain long drives and control the clock.
The defense was pretty solid last week. If the Steelers can play the classic “bend, but don’t break” defense, they should be fine as long as the offense scores like they should. The Vikings don’t have a lot of explosive weapons on offense, so the defense needs to make sure they don’t give up the big plays.
No. 5 QB Joshua Dobbs
No. 11 WR Justin Hunter
No. 27 S J.J. Wilcox
No. 65 OT Jerald Hawkins
No. 71 OT Matt Feiler
No. 89 TE Vance McDonald
No. 91 DE Stephon Tuitt
No. 8 QB Sam Bradford
No. 12 WR Rodney Adams
No. 24 CB Tramaine Brock
No. 63 G Danny Isidora
No. 76 T Aviante Collins
No. 90 DE Tashawn Bower
No. 94 DT Jaleel Johnson