The Steelers are coming off a Week 1 in Cleveland where the offense looked flat but still managed to escape with a three-point win. The Vikings are come off a Week 1 at home against the Saints where they did whatever they wanted to on offense and built buzz as potential Super Bowl contenders while winning by 10.
In a way, it’s a prove-it game for both teams. The Steelers must prove the offense was just rusty in Week 1, and racking up points against the Vikings’ excellent defense would do that emphatically. The Vikings must prove they can score consistently against an NFL-caliber defense, which the Steelers have.
Here’s what you need to know.
How to watch, stream
- Kickoff: Sept. 17, 1 p.m.
- TV: FOX (Check local listings)
- Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
A big test for both teams
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer understands the challenge in not only slowing the Steelers offense but also handling their defense.
“Well, they win, number one,” Zimmer said of the Steelers. “They’re physical, they’re tough. They play physical, aggressive defense. They’ve always been able to be really physical in the running game as well. The physicality, they’ve got huge guys up front on the offensive line.
“Especially with [quarterback Ben] Roethlisberger, he’s always been able to take those shots down the field and scramble, move around in the pocket and hold the ball. He’s a tough guy that is going to stand in there and take his shots.”
Roethlisberger isn’t taking the Vikings’ defense lightly either.
“We know going in how good their defense is,” Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. “If you slow down that offense that they did, it’s pretty impressive.”
You can read more quotes from each sideline here.
Watt’s record debut
The Steelers got everything they could have hoped for from T.J. Watt in his debut, as the rookie notched two sacks and in doing so accomplished something no Steelers player had done since sacks became an official statistic. He also picked off a pass in the game, making him the third player ever with two sacks and one interception in his debut. You can check out
Who will win?
While this game opened with the Steelers at 7-point favorites, the Vikings’ impressive showing caused a rush to take them in this game, knocking the line down to Steelers -5.5. At that line, Pete Prisco is making the Steelers
The Vikings are playing on a short week after beating the Saints Monday night, and they have to travel to play a team playing its home opener. That’s tough, The Vikings have done a nice job against the spread on short weeks, going 17-7 with six days rest the last three years, but I thin that trend is bucked here. I like the Steelers to get the offense cranked up and they will limit Sam Bradford.