Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday 1:00 p.m.
Another week, another correct game of the week pick, which makes me 5-1 on the season. This week features two teams that have already made an appearance, or appearance(s) in Pittsburgh’s case, in the game of the week discussion and I don’t think that it will be either team;s last. The Minnesota Vikings are one of the four undefeated teams left in the NFL and they look to remain that way although they have a tough test in front of them in the Steelers. Brett Favre isn’t playing like a 40 year old man, which is a big reason for this team’s success. But a few hits from any player on Pittsburgh’s defense will make him feel his age quickly. Let’s get to it.
Adrian Peterson vs. Pittsburgh Defense: As is the case with any game that Minnesota plays in, it starts and end with Adrian Peterson. And the same can be said about Pittsburgh when it comes to their defense. This is AP’s first meeting with the Steelers in his young career and although Pittsburgh is usually stout against the run, Peterson has made a living out of dominating some of the best defenses in the league….Remember that 295yd game against that so called “great” Chargers’ defense a couple of years ago?
Ben Roethlisberger vs. Jarred Allen: The Viking secondary has been mediocre at best this season, giving up over 350yds passing to two of the young, up and coming quarterbacks in the league in Aaron Rodgers and Joe Flacco. Big Ben seems to be next in line to slice up this defense as he is coming off one of his best passing performances in his career throwing for 417 yds. In order for him to have a chance at a big game, whichever offensive tackle Jarred Allen lines up against must do his job to the best of his abilities. The Vikings are going to get a couple of sacks simply because Ben will hold the ball longer than he is supposed to, but the key is not turning the ball over. And Jarred Allen has become one of the best in the league at stripping the ball from opposing quarterbacks.
X – Factor:
Percy Harvin: All eyes will be on AP. We all know that. But the Steelers’ D will have to key in on more than just one or two, or even three guys to slow down the Vikings’ offense. I expect to see a little wildcat from Minnesota to add even more pressure on Pittsburgh and you can bet that Mr. Harvin will be the main man lining up in the backfield whenever they do go to that formation. Also, look for him to make some noise on special teams. If he gets a lane, he can explode through it and six points will be going up on the board before you know it.
Minnesota 28, Pittsburgh 24: Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Percy Harvin, Sydney Rice, Visanthe Shiancoe. Too many weapons on Minnesota’s side of the ball which is why I believe they, and not the Saints, are the most talented offense in the NFC. Not to mention one of the best offensive lines in the last couple of years. Of course, the Steelers will give them a tough fight, but I see Minnesota staying undefeated.