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Setting The Table For Pittsburgh

Posted by Mike Wobschall on October 21, 2009 – 8:12 am

Off another exciting win at home, the Vikings are in the midst of preparations for yet another game against a nasty AFC North opponent this week. On Sunday the 6-0 Vikings will battle the 4-2 Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field, a place opponents have entered and come out victorious on only 3 of the last 19 occasions.

Yes, the defending Super Bowl champs are an impressive 16-3 at home over the last 2+ seasons. They are led by head coach Mike Tomlin, whom Vikings fans remember well from his time as the Purple’s defensive coordinator in 2006. With the Vikings on Brad Childress’ inaugural staff, Tomlin led a defense that was #1 against run. Now as Pittsburgh’s boss, Tomlin has continued a tradition of stingy defense in the Steel City.

Currently, Pittsburgh is ranked 3rd in overall defense, allowing just 275.2 yards of total offense per game, and they rank 2nd in the NFL against the run (74.5) and 12th against the pass (200.7). Only 2 teams (Denver and Minnesota) sack opposing QBs more than Pittsburgh (they have 17).

Offensively, the Steelers don’t fall into the traditional mold of excellent defensive teams who then like to pound the ball on the ground. Led by QB Ben Roethlisberger, the offense is best when it takes to the air. Pittsburgh is 2nd in passing offense, averaging 296.7 yards per game, and 5th in overall offense with 403.7 yards per game. But don’t think this team can’t balance it out with a good ground game, too. Second-year RB Rashard Mendenhall has taken over as the starting runner and he possesses a nice blend of power and speed. The Steelers are the league’s 15th best rushing team, but that might be trending upward with Mendenhall now as the bell cow.

As impressive as the Steelers have been at home lately and as solid as they are along the line of scrimmage, in the run game and on defense, the Vikings also boast some firepower and have a few of their own positive trends to site.

RB Adrian Peterson bolted to the top of the league rushing charts last week with an impressive 143-yard day against Baltimore. He leads the NFL in rushing with 618 yards and he’s 2nd in rushing TDs with 7. To balance out their powerful ground game, the Vikings have the league’s 3rd-highest rated passer, as Brett Favre has compiled a 109.5 passer rating.

On top of the individual statistical success, the Vikings are obviously playing well as a team and have an undefeated record to prove it. The Vikings have won 15 of their last 18 regular season games, including their last 7 regular season games dating back to last year. Minnesota has also won its last 6 road games dating back to last year and they can tie the franchise record for consecutive road wins with a victory over Pittsburgh on Sunday.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 11 Comments »


11 Responses to “Setting The Table For Pittsburgh”

  1. By Patty Picotte on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    Why are we so ultra conservative on the play calling. Let’s play to be sure to win not maybe be the champion like it might happen if all the stars are in a line.

  2. By neworleanssaintsfan on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    I hope that the Steelers beat you’ll this weekend because that will mean another unbeaten team bites the dust.

  3. By thatguy on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    Saintsfan:

    I hope your team doesn’t fall apart again like they do every other year they start out strong…

  4. By NL on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    Allen is going to be all over Roethlisberger. Tho nerve wrecking and close game I’m sure.

  5. By Shannon on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    Steelers lose and lose big thanks to Adrian Peterson!!!!!!!!!!! Steelers PICK YOUR POISON? U CAN’T STOP ALL THE WEAPONS!!!!!!

  6. By kcin on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    the vikings are playing better together each week. If the defensive back field plays well, another win for the ageless one, #4 and company.

  7. By VIKING FAN FOR LIFE on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    I totally agree with Patty on the conservative play calling. run the ball when its being challenged all game and not running much time off the clock TERRIBLE. You guys got a grreat QB why not use him and those talented recievers you have. Wake up!!! Dont run the horse into the ground and make it easy for the defenses to read your plays before you even snap the ball. Please mix i up you have the weapons why not use them all!!!!!!!!

  8. By keith wood on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    wait until a couple more games the old timer will start to feel his age and minnasota will crumple

  9. By matt on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    Vikings are due for a super bowl win. Hopefully this is our year, and right now Pittsburg is in our way. Lets run through them.

  10. By dave on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    trying to find out what hotel the vikings are staying at in pittsburgh

  11. By purple08 on Oct 21, 2009 | Reply

    we are a run first team and we need to keep it that way! AP got us where we are! this is Peterson’s team, remember that!!

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