Steelers Vs Vikings Win/Loss Scenarios


Back at it on gameday, breaking down what the Pittsburgh Steelers have to do to win (or lose) in today’s game against the Minnesota Vikings. My always unreliable prediction at the bottom.

The Steelers Will Win If…

1. They control the Vikings’ defensive line. I wanted to be more specific but that whole group is so good. Have to slow down the Vikings’ends in the pass game, big NT Linval Joseph inside. Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of screens and quick-game throws to get their ends to hesitate and think. Know most of you won’t like it. Just expect it.

2. Minnesota is forced to keep everything in front on offense. The Vikings do a really good job using spacing concepts to go vertical. They’re going to take shots and have the receivers who can make tough, combative catches. Pittsburgh wants to be more aggressive and take more chances but the obvious consequence to that is giving up the deep ball. That could’ve happened several times against the Browns.

Perhaps a more conservative, “traditional” (Cover 3) concept would serve Keith Butler well for this week.


3. The pass rushers do their job. And I’m not even talking about just T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, and Anthony Chickillo. The Vikings’ tackles are vulnerable but I wasn’t thrilled with their interior either. Guys like LG Nick Easton can be beat. The Steelers had success last week because they didn’t feel compelled to blitz and generally speaking, didn’t do much of it. That’s gotta continue.

The Steelers Will Lose If…

1. They kick their own butt. It’s obvious. In most cases, the Steelers blow games when they hurt themselves. 13 penalties and poor third down play (one feeds the other) are all examples of that in last week’s squeaker of a win. The Vikings will leave far less margin for error.

2. Stefon Diggs gets loose on third down. Go-to guy, their best weapon, and it isn’t all done vertically. Like to use motion to clue man vs zone and like I wrote above, use bunch/spacing concepts to get him open. Will run shallow crossers and mesh concepts to get Diggs on the move in space. Can the Steelers match up? Joe Haden, when he’s facing him, will have his hands full.

3. They can’t pick on Trae Waynes. That’s the guy in the Vikings’ secondary I want to go after. I’m assuming Xavier Rhodes will shadow Antonio Brown, leaving Martavis Bryant on Waynes. Waynes has struggled since being a top draft pick and Bryant shook off some of the rust last week. Needs to show more consistent detail and football IQ as a route runner. He’s the key to ripping off some big plays.

Prediction

This one is tough. Had Sam Bradford been fully healthy and we knew he was playing, I honestly would’ve taken the Vikings. That said…

Steelers: 24
Vikings: 17

Season Record: 1-0

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Craig M

    We’ve got the ability, we’ve got the players, it may all come down simply to coaching.

  • tcirish53@gmail.com

    Would’ve picked the Vikes if Bradford was healthy? Sheesh!!
    Bradford has ONE good game and suddenly we can’t beat them at HOME?!! 😑

  • MP

    Alex, you have been reliable in your picks so far this season. You nailed last week conceptually with your 27-20 call. Let’s hope you’re right again!

  • dany

    Big Bryant day then

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Bradford last year had a good year…I actually had the Vikings beating us too till I saw Bradford out.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    The two keys for me is can the Vikings defense make a few big plays and will the Steelers let Case Keenum look like a 30 year old Tom Brady like they do to ever other fly by night QB.

  • John Pennington

    Does Ben no how to throw to someone other than AB if not this team isnt going anywhere.Everyone needs to be involved if not sit everyone else down because thats whats happening now.Team sport not AB and Ben Show and sprinkle in MB and Bell.