News

Print
RSS

Game Preview: Vikings at Steelers

Posted Sep 12, 2017

After capturing a 29-19 home victory on Monday Night Football over the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings (1-0) hit the road in Week 2 to face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0), who defeated the Browns 21-18 in Cleveland during Kickoff Weekend.

The Vikings used a balanced offensive attack to tally 29 points, the most offensive points scored by the club in a season-opening game since 2009 (34). QB Sam Bradford recorded his career-high passer rating of 143.0 after throwing for 346 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Over the past three games, Bradford has thrown for 978 yards (1st in NFL), nine touchdowns (tied 1st in NFL) and no interceptions, totaling a 122.3 passer rating (2nd in NFL). Rookie RB Dalvin Cook surpassed the 100-yard mark in his NFL debut with 127 yards on 22 carries (5.8 avg.), the 1st time the Vikings had a 100-yard rusher since Adrian Peterson ran for 104 yards vs. New York Giants (12/27/15).

The Vikings WRs tallied 278 receiving yards in Week 1, the most of any WR corps in the NFL in the opening week. WR Adam Thielen led the Vikings with nine receptions for 157 receiving yards, 2nd in the NFL, while WR Stefon Diggs secured his second career multi-touchdown game with 2 touchdown catches along with seven catches for 93 yards.

LBs Anthony Barr (8 tackles and 1 TFL) and Eric Kendricks (6 tackles and 1 pass defensed) helped lead a stingy Vikings defense that held the Saints to 19 points and 60 rushing yards. DE Everson Griffen secured the Vikings lone sack, giving him 49 for his career.

BROADCAST COVERAGE

NATIONAL TELEVISION: FOX (Ch. 9 in Twin Cities)

Play-by-Play: Kenny Albert Analyst: Ronde Barber

Sideline: Kristina Pink

NATIONAL RADIO: ESPN RADIO

Play-by-Play: Adam Amin Analyst: Bill Polian

LOCAL RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman

Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 10 a.m. (CT)

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, five-state Vikings Radio Network.

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

WR Adam Thielen had four receptions over 20 yards in Week 1, the most in the NFL. His 157 receiving yards ranks 2nd in franchise history on opening day, behind Ahmad Rashad's 160 receiving yards in 1980.

RB Dalvin Cook, who ran for 127 yards, had the 2nd-most yards among any player in their Vikings debut behind RB Herschel Walker's 148-yard effort vs. Green Bay (10/15/89).

WR Stefon Diggs had seven receptions, six of which converted a 1st down, tying him for the 2nd most 1st-down receptions in the NFL after Week 1.

The Vikings started two rookies (RB Dalvin Cook, C Pat Elflein) on offense in Week 1, marking the 1st time since 1963 the club has started 2 rookies on the offensive side of the ball (WR Paul Flatley, TE Ray Poage).

The Vikings offensive line, which featured new starters at all five positions from last season, paved the way for a 100-yard rusher and allowed only one sack in Week 1 for the first time since Week 12 of 2015 at Atlanta (11/29/15).

TE Kyle Rudolph caught his 30th career TD, extending franchise record for career TD receptions among TEs.

The Vikings offense leads the NFL after Week 1 in third-down percentage going 9-for-14 (64.3 percent).

The Vikings defense held the Saints to only one touchdown in five red zone trips in Week 1, ranking 6th in the NFL in opponent red zone TD percentage (20 percent).

CB Trae Waynes totaled 11 tackles vs. New Orleans, the most of any CB in the NFL in Week 1.

The Vikings had 17 plays of 10 yards, the 2nd-highest total in the NFL (Buffalo, 18).

Vikings–Steelers Connections

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin served as the Vikings Defensive Coordinator for the 2006 season.

Steelers RB Coach James Saxon held the same position for the Vikings from 2011-13.

Vikings RB Coach Kennedy Polamalu is the uncle of former Steeler S Troy Polamalu, who played 12 seasons and won two Super Bowls with the Steelers.

Vikings Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer Tom Hunkele received his first NFL experience spending the 1997 season as an intern with the Steelers.

Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman worked with the Detroit Lions college and pro scouting departments from 1990-96 while Steelers Vice President and General Manager Kevin Colbert served as the Lions Director of Football Operations.

Steelers OL Coach Mike Munchak had Vikings DBs Coach Jerry Gray and Assistant DBs Coach Jonathan Gannon on his staff in Tennessee when he was the Head Coach of the Titans.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and LBs Coach Adam Zimmer coached Steelers LB James Harrison in Cincinnati in 2013.

Hometown/Local Connections

Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes and Steelers WR Antonio Brown both attended Norland High School in Miami, Florida.

Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater and Steelers WR Eli Rogers are childhood friends and attended both high school (Northwestern High School in Miami) and college (Louisville) together.

Vikings Assistant OL Coach Andrew Janocko played QB at the University of Pittsburgh from 2006-09 and is a native of Clearfield, PA.

College Connections

Steelers FB Roosevelt Nix played for Vikings WR Coach Darrell Hazell at Kent State from 2011-12 when Hazell was the Head Coach for the Golden Flashes.

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs and Steelers S Sean Davis both hail from the Washington D.C. area and were teammates at Maryland from 2012-14.

Vikings S Harrison Smith and Steelers DE Stephon Tuitt were team¬mates at Notre Dame during the 2011 season.

Steelers TE Vance McDonald and Vikings S Andrew Sendejo were teammates at Rice in 2009.

Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell and Steelers CB Mike Hilton were team¬mates at Ole Miss from 2013-15.

Sunday's game will feature four former Miami Hurricanes: Vikings WR Stacy Coley (2013-16), Vikings G Danny Isidora (2013-16), Steelers CB Artie Burns (2013-15) and LB Anthony Chickillo (2011-14).

Vikings CB Trae Waynes and Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell were teammates at Michigan State from 2011-12.

BIG DAYS

As a member of the Cowboys, CB Terence Newman recorded his career high in tackles (13) vs. Pittsburgh (10/17/04) during his 2nd year in the NFL and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger's rookie season (4th career start). Newman also has 3 games with 2 passes defensed against Pittsburgh in his career.

Vikings RB Latavius Murray totaled 96 yards on 17 carries (5.6 avg.) with a 44-yard long rush, in his lone career game at Pittsburgh (11/8/15) as a Raider.

Vikings DE Everson Griffen corralled Roethlisberger for a game-sealing strip-sack, one of his five career forced fumbles, vs. Pittsburgh (9/29/13) in a game played at Wembley Stadium in London.

Everson Griffen........... 1 game, 2 tackles, 1.0 sack, 2 TFLs, 1 FF

Latavius Murray.......... 1 game, 17 rushes, 96 yards (5.6 avg.), 44 long

Terence Newman....... 6 games, 39 tackles, 1 TFL, 6 passes defensed

SERIES INFO

Record vs. Steelers: Minnesota 9-8

Last regular season game: Vikings 34, Steelers 27 (2013)

Vikings largest winning margin: 38; Vikings 52, Steelers 14 (1969)

Steelers largest winning margin: 15; Steelers 18, Vikings 3 (2005)

Current series streak: Vikings 1

Vikings longest win streak: 3, (1964-69)

Steelers longest win streak: 3, (2001-Present)

Most Points, Vikings: 52, (1969)

Most Points, Steelers: 39, (1962)

Most Points, both teams.: 70, Steelers 39, Vikings 31 (1962)

Fewest Points, Vikings: 3 (2005)

Fewest Points, Steelers: 3 (1992)

Fewest Points, both teams: 9; Vikings 6, Steelers 10 (1967)