The battle of the win-less teams is set for Sunday at 1 ET from London. The (0-3) Minnesota Vikings take on the (0-3) Pittsburgh Steelers in a all-time series that sits even at 7-7. The Vikings hope to snap their win-less streak of three games against Pittsburgh since 2001. During a recent episode of PTI, Tony Kornheiser said, “Whoever loses this game should just stay in England.” Is that accurate? You decide.
Matt Cassel v. Houston Texans in Preseason (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images North America)
The major storyline in this game is the 1st start of Matt Cassel since he joined the Vikings. Christian Ponder has to take the week off due to concerns of a rib injury to close to his heart to play. Cassel is 18-21 as a starter in Kansas City and showed perhaps his most potential when backing up Tom Brady for the Patriots. His success in New England helped get him a big contract in KC.
With all of that being said, is this what us Vikings fans wanted? Did we give up on Ponder?
I never gave up on Ponder after his second half performance of last season. He has the ability to do some great things. I believe some of his INT’s were on tipped balls and should not be taken into account like some of the terrible mistakes he made when trying to do to much.
I expect Adrian Peterson to get a small increase in carries to help Cassel get comfortable at the helm. I don’t expect Cassel to take long before getting comfortable in the pocket. Through the preseason I liked what I saw from Cassel, he looked better than Ponder at times. It’s a great thing the Vikings front office went and snagged a legitimate back up quarterback this off-season. It didn’t take long for the return of the investment.
As we have seen the field at Wembley Stadium tares up very easily so it will be important for the Vikings to establish the run game early. Expect the Steelers to do the same with running back Le’Veon Bell. It will be important for the Vikings on defense to minimize the big play. We have seen the defense step up in a few games this season just to blow it on the last defensive drive to give the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns wins. That fact worries me the most, not the offense or special teams. I don’t trust the Vikings defense anymore. We will see if the tea and crumpets give the Vikings a much needed boost this week.
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