The Pittsburgh Steelers Week 2 opponent will be the Minnesota Vikings and if you watched them beat the New Orleans Saints Monday night, you will likely be surprised to learn that they open the week as 7-point road underdogs to the black and gold.
In the Vikings 29-19 home win over the Saints, Minnesota quarterback Sam Bradford had perhaps his best game of his career as he completed 27 of 32 total pass attempts for 346 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
Bradford’s solid showing against the Saints was aided by several of his wide receivers being able to get themselves open throughout the game. Wide receiver Adam Thielen caught 9 passes from Bradford for 157 yards and fellow wide receiver Stefon Diggs hauled in seven passes from the Vikings quarterback for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook chipped in 127 yards on 22 carries in his NFL debut and Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph added thee receptions for 26 yards and caught Bradford’s final touchdown pass of the game.
The Vikings defense did their part Monday night and especially when it came to tightening up inside their red zone. The Saints offense converted just one of their five trips inside red zone into a touchdown Monday night and that led to New Orleans kicker Wil Lutz needing to kick four field goals.
The Vikings defense held the Saints to just 60 yards rushing Monday night and they managed to sack quarterback Drew Brees once while pressuring him several other times throughout the game. The Saints offense average 5.8 yards per play against the Vikings defense.
The last time the Vikings and Steelers played was in 2013 and that game took place in London, England. The Vikings won that game 34-27 and it included the Minnesota defense sacking Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times in total and intercepting him once. Then-Vikings running back Adrian Peterson rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns against the Steelers in that game and then-quarterback Matt Cassel threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns.
The last time that the Vikings played in Pittsburgh was in 2009 and the Steelers won that home game 27-17 even though Roethlisberger only completed 14 total passes for 175 yards in the contest. The Steelers defense returned two turnovers for touchdowns in that game and that was pretty much the difference.