So a good friend of mine, Mark, from Sports Jabber agreed to toss me his thoughts. He’s a long time Minnesota Vikings fan, and one great guy all around. He predicted a close Pittsburgh Steelers win as well.
Here’s what Mark had to say:
From the perspective of a Vikings fan watching yesterday’s game at Pittsburgh, a couple things come to mind:
1. The Vikings are actually a better team than I thought. After getting called for what appeared to be a very specious tripping penalty and giving up a defensive TD on the fumble, they stayed in the game. Harvin’s kickoff return was a great boost to the defense.
2. The Steelers offensive line may have some serious weaknesses. The pressure the Vikings got on Roethlisberger all day was pretty good. And the team did a good job of corralling him and not letting him make any “cheap” completions.
3. I was surprised the Steelers didn’t attack the Vikings secondary, given that their best defensive player was out. Not just their best defensive back, their best player. (Full disclosure here: I started both Santonio Holmes and Mike Wallace in my fantasy league because I was sure they’d have big days.)
4. Steelers approached this game defensively as most teams have this year. They worked to stop or minimize Adrian Peterson and take their chances on Brett Favre. It worked, but just barely. That could be good news for my team as the season goes along. After all, not every team is as solid up front as the Steelers and Peterson will definitely get his yards.
Overall, the Vikings had a chance to win with less than two minutes to go. As a fan, that’s pretty much all you can ask for on the road against the defending league champions. I didn’t expect to win this game so it doesn’t sting too bad. I thought that Mike Tomlin would be better able to predict the play calling and tendencies. It didn’t really turn out that way.
Also, it gives the Vikings a chance to re-focus and be better prepared for what is—for them—a more meaningful (ie, division) game against the Green Bay Packers.
Great game. Hope we get to do it again in Miami.
I’d really love to see this as a potential Super Bowl rematch. It’d be quite the game once more, with Peterson and company up against the Steelers defense once more. Although just because the league is so topsy-turvy it would probably end up being the quarterback duel a lot of people hoped to see.
Great game by both teams, the Vikings and their fans are truly class acts. Good luck to you guys throughout the season, perhaps we’ll meet again.