Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings 9/29/13 NFL Score, Recap, News and Notes
Final Score: Minnesota Vikings 34, Pittsburgh Steelers 27
September 29, 2013
There was one major positive about today’s Vikings-Steelers game: somebody had to win. Both teams came in at 0-3, desperately needing to gain some traction and try to get their seasons back on track. Adding another interesting twist, this one was played at Wembley Stadium in London (though it was technically a home game for the Vikings), as the NFL continues its climb toward relevance in the global market.
Let’s take a look at the numbers and the key players from the game and see exactly how things went down. We’ll also take a closer look at the immediate futures for both teams and see where they’re headed from here.
What Happened: Though the Brits didn’t exactly get to see our top NFL exports this year, they were treated to a pretty entertaining game. Minnesota struck first, posting a field goal and a long TD pass before Pittsburgh could punch it into the end zone themselves on an eight-yard run. The teams traded jabs in a high-scoring affair until late in the fourth quarter.
With less than two minutes left and down seven, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger led the team on a long drive that began at their own 22-yard line. He would make it to the Minnesota 6-yard line before a sack-fumble ended the team’s hopes with just six seconds left. The final score would reflect a Vikings victory 34-27.
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The Stars: The incredible Adrian Peterson added another stellar game to his already-impressive résumé, posting 140 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries. (They should just give him the MVP award every year.) He was supplemented by a pretty darn good game from backup QB Matt Cassel (who was filling in for an injured Christian Ponder). He managed an efficient 16-for-25 line resulting in 248 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Jerome Simpson (124 yards) and Greg Jennings (92 yards, two touchdowns) were the main beneficiaries in the passing game.
For the Steelers, it seems they’ve finally got a little life in their running game. Rookie RB Le’Veon Bell, in his career debut, tallied 57 yards and two touchdowns on 16 attempts. Jericho Cotchery (103 yards, one TD), Antonio Brown (98 total yards) and Heath Miller (70 yards) all had solid games as well.
The Goats: The Steelers defense, long a source of reliability for the team, has begun to show its age this season--especially in the secondary. They were burned on some long plays in this one, specifically a 70-yard TD by Jennings and a 60-yard TD by Peterson. Speaking of Peterson, he averaged a whopping 6.1 yards per carry. The grand total of one sack doesn’t really help, either.
We could pick on Roethlisberger here, but he’s doing his best with what he’s got. He was sacked five times (and under pressure the whole game), and aside from the fumble at the end of the fourth he played pretty well. Big Ben’s final line was a busy 36-for-51 for 383 yards, one score and one interception.
Pittsburgh’s running game got a shot in the arm today with the return of Bell, but no one else really did much. There were four attempts for 10 yards between their other backs.
Injuries: Both teams were pretty fortunate in this one, as their injury reports are relatively clean. The Vikings have a handful of players who will need the bye week to get healthy (and they may have a full-blown QB controversy now), but on the whole are looking pretty strong.
Outlook: Both teams are on byes during Week 5, which could be good or bad depending on how optimistic you are. Hey, at least they’ll have time to get over their jetlag. When they return in Week 6, Pittsburgh will head to MetLife to take on the New York Jets, while Minnesota will host the Carolina Panthers.
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