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Minnesota Vikings at Pittsburgh Steelers: First Quarter Open Thread

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 17 September 2017
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Heinz Field
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 83 (PIT)
Sirius Ch 98
TV Announcers: Kenny Albert
Ronde Barber
Know Thy Foe: Behind the Steel Curtain
Weather: 77 degrees, winds from SE at 5 MPH, 0% chance of rain
Line: Pittsburgh -7, Over/Under 45 (Thanks to the SB Nation odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Steelers 23, Vikings 20 (pick made before Sam Bradford's status decided)
Final Score: Steelers 26, Vikings 9

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-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

It's been an interesting past few days for fans of the Minnesota Vikings, following the thrashing they gave the New Orleans Saints in the regular season opener. Now, it's the first road game of the year for the purple, as they are set to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.

What do the Vikings need to do in order to get to 2-0 on the young season?

1) Maintain offensive line play - Whether it's Sam Bradford or Case Keenum at quarterback in this one, it is imperative that the Vikings have the same sort of performance from the offensive line that they got on Monday night. Yes, New Orleans' defense sucks and the Steelers' defense is markedly better, but no matter who the Vikings are facing, they need to keep the quarterback upright. This is a Steelers secondary that will allow some plays, but that can't happen if the quarterback is on his backside. Hopefully Monday night wasn't a mirage.

2) Get Ben Roethlisberger on the ground - The Steelers have a very good offensive line, but Big Ben has a tendency to hold onto the ball for extended periods of time, and when teams do get to him, he has an uncanny ability to get out of trouble. When the Vikings get to Roethlisberger, they need to do what they can to not allow him to get away, because if he escapes, that will allow Antonio Brown and company to get open for big plays. To borrow a line from noted quarterback guru Al Davis, the quarterback must go down, and he must go down hard.

3) Win the battle on special teams - In a game with a couple of defensive units that come as prepared as these two, there could be one or two plays that make the difference in this one, and those plays could come on special teams. The Vikings need their returners and their other specialists to make sure that they aren't the ones that make the back breaking mistake that could turn the tide against a very good Pittsburgh team.

One of these teams will start the 2017 season with a 2-0 record, while the other will drop to 1-1. Hopefully the Vikings can be the ones that get the job done and get their first victory in Pittsburgh since 1995.