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  1. #1
    Muggsy is offline Asst. Coach
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    Scouts Inc. article on Vikes vs. Steelers

    Ok, youse mugs, dis is da article youse guys need ta read on da game dis week....
    ==================================================

    Steelers, Vikings working without a net
    ESPN Insider
    By Scouts, Inc.

    Why To Watch
    The stakes are high in this inter-conference showdown between the Steelers and Vikings. Both teams enter Week 15 in similar situations -- they both own second place in their respective divisions and need a win to keep pace in their respective conference wild-card races.

    QB Brad Johnson has led a balanced offensive attack for Minnesota, but it has been the much-improved defense that has sparked the team's six-game winning streak. In order to fall into the Vikings' takeaway trap, QB Ben Roethlisberger must limit his mistakes and RBs Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis must lead an old-school Steelers power-rushing attack on Sunday.


    When the Steelers have the ball
    Rushing: This is where the game will be won or lost for the Steelers. Minnesota's defense has emerged as one of the leagues' most opportunistic, especially when the ball is in the air. In order to combat that defensive speed and playmaking ability, Pittsburgh must maximize its size and strength advantages in the running game.

    RB Willie Parker will remain the starter, but look for Jerome Bettis' carries to continue to grow after he rushed for 101 yards on 17 attempts last week. Bettis is especially productive in poor conditions because of his ability to stay low, drive his legs and run through tackles. He also can be effective on the turf this week versus a Vikings defense that will miss some tackles and has a tendency to wear down if an opponent avoids turnovers and keeps pounding away on the ground.

    Bettis is as healthy as he has been all season and also has fresh legs because of such limited action this year (only 84 carries in 2005). With Bettis handling more of the load, Parker can get the rest he needs in order to provide the explosive initial burst that makes him so effective when fresh.

    The Vikings are by no means a pushover up front versus the run anymore, but they do give up some size to the Steelers' massive offensive line. The Steelers struggled a couple of weeks ago to get a strong push versus the Bengals, but they were able to manhandle a far better Bears defensive line last week.

    The Vikings are getting strong play from LDE Darrion Scott and NT Pat Williams, but RDE Erasmus James gets pushed around too much and the unit also misses injured UT Kevin Williams, who is being replaced by rookie sixth-round pick C.J. Mosley.

    The Vikings could also be without starting SLB Keith Newman, who suffered a sprained right knee in the second quarter against the Rams last week. With depth potentially an issue for the Vikings' defense, establishing a dedicated and powerful rushing attack will be even more of an emphasis for the Steelers in this game.

    Passing: The Steelers have a good blend of talent and depth at wide receiver with Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El and Cedrick Wilson. They also have a reliable target over the middle in TE Heath Miller. However, they do not match up well versus a Vikings unit that is defending the pass better than any other defense in the NFL right now.

    LDC Antoine Winfield is living up to expectations as a shutdown cover corner and, as a result, defensive coordinator Ted Cotrell has the luxury of mixing in a lot of different looks with his safeties (Darren Sharper and Corey Chavous). The team will show some cover-3 looks, cover-2 looks and a lot of "man-free" coverage with Sharper playing a center fielder's role down the middle and often cheating over to the right side in order to give DC Brian Williams extra help.

    Williams, who is coming off a two-interception performance versus the Saints, has exceeded expectations as a starter since being inserted in the lineup for the injured Fred Smoot. Sharper has also emerged as one of the biggest playmakers in the NFL with seven interceptions over the course of the last six games.

    Protecting Roethlisberger could also become a big problem for the Steelers. The Vikings miss Kevin Williams' inside presence, but James and pass-rush specialist Lance Johnstone will give the slow-footed OT tandem of Trai Essex and Max Starks fits on the perimeter.

    If the Steelers are unable to establish a strong running game in order to set up the play-action pass, Roethlisberger could be in for a long afternoon versus the Vikings' pass rush. Furthermore, if the Steelers are put in a lot of third-and-long situations -- or in a come-from-behind situation where they need to abort the run -- it heavily favors the Vikings' opportunistic defense.

    When the Vikings have the ball
    Rushing: The Vikings have been patient with their running game this season, even though the results have been inconsistent at best. The team was able to churn out 113 net rushing yards versus the Rams last week with RBs Michael Bennett and Ciatrick Fason combining to carry most of the load. But establishing a consistent ground attack versus the Steelers this week will be much more difficult.

    The Vikings seem to have finally settled in on a starting lineup along their offensive line with LOT Bryant McKinnie, LOG Anthony Herrera, OC Melvin Fowler, ROG Adam Goldberg and ROT Marcus Johnson. The unit seems to be communicating much more effectively with more experience playing together, and the coaching staff is finally getting a sense for the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. For instance, the Vikings have been doing a lot more pulling and trapping with the interior trio of Herrera, Fowler and Goldberg because all three seem to be more effective when allowed to get on the move and create their own angles.

    The trouble with this matchup, however, is that NT Casey Hampton and DEs Aaron Smith and Kimo von Oelhoffen will allow for very limited movement with their size, strength and discipline in the unit's two-gap technique. Fowler has adequate-to-good size at center but still will give up more than 30 pounds in his matchup versus Hampton.

    Assuming Fowler is incapable of handling Hampton on his own, double-team help from one of the guards will be required, which will put the rest of the Vikings' offensive line at a disadvantage in terms of blocking assignments in this game. Bennett and Fason flash the initial burst and speed to provide some big runs if given seams or room to run on the outside, but with protection up front, ILBs James Farrior and Larry Foote will have the room they need in order to keep Bennett and Fason bottled up.

    Passing: The Vikings' passing attack has become its main source of offensive production. The team is using more three- and four-receiver sets than ever and is even getting its receivers more involved in the running game in order to make up for the lack of consistent production from the running back position. WR Koren Robinson has stepped up as the big-play leader of the group but in all reality, Johnson's efficiency spreading the ball around the field has been the biggest reason for the team's recent success.

    Last week, for example, Johnson completed passes to nine different Vikings skill players. In doing so, it eliminates tendencies and forces opposing defenses to play honest. The Vikings continue to improve up front in terms of protecting Johnson in the pocket, and Johnson seemingly is seeing the field more clearly with every start.

    The Steelers could be without starting RDC Deshea Townsend after he suffered a concussion late in the second quarter versus the Bears last week. If that's the case, look for the Vikings to spread things out even more in order to test the depth of the Steelers' secondary. With Robinson, Travis Taylor, Marcus Robinson, Nate Burleson and Troy Williamson all proving capable of chipping in, the Vikings can simply rotate three and four receivers in and out of the game.

    The team also can show a more traditional one-TE, two-back set and then flex guys like TE Jermaine Wiggins and H-back Jim Kleinsasser out into the slot in order to generate some matchup problems for the Steelers' outside linebackers and safeties. The Vikings are unlikely to hit for a lot of big plays via the air in this game, but if they can spread the field and move the ball efficiently via the air, it will help to wear the Steelers' defense down as the game progresses. It also will help to keep the Vikings' defense off the field in order to give it proper rest for what promises to be a grueling matchup versus a physical Steelers rushing attack.

    ==================================================
    I like Scouts, Inc. cuz dey don' seem ta have no axe ta grind, y'know? Dey jus' tell da strenks and weaknesses as dey see 'em, y'know? Anyways, I get da feelin' from readin' dis dat da Vikes could really bust some footballs out dere, y'know?
    "From the fury of the Northmen, O Lord, save us!"
    -- From a monestary in Ireland.

  2. #2
    Jkurtkrauss's Avatar
    Jkurtkrauss is offline Rookie
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    Why the Vikings will win....................

    1. The Steelers strength is their running game. With Phat Pat and the boys, I believe run defense is the Vikings strength judging from the past few weeks. Stop their running game, and its over.

    2. The Metrodome will be rocking

    3. Ciatrick has a coming out party
    Spread my ashes at the H^3

  3. #3
    ultravikingfan's Avatar
    ultravikingfan is offline Administrator
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    Re: Scouts Inc. article on Vikes vs. Steelers

    Good find OMV...as usual. :grin:

  4. #4
    gregair13's Avatar
    gregair13 is offline Jersey Retired
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    Re: Scouts Inc. article on Vikes vs. Steelers

    the thunderdome is going to cave in with all the noise. seriously.

    why to watch? probley the best game of the week
    We're bringing purple back.

  5. #5
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: Scouts Inc. article on Vikes vs. Steelers

    "OldManVike" wrote:
    Ok, youse mugs, dis is da article youse guys need ta read on da game dis week....
    ==================================================

    Steelers, Vikings working without a net
    ESPN Insider
    By Scouts, Inc.

    Bettis is as healthy as he has been all season and also has fresh legs because of such limited action this year
    (only 84 carries in 2005). With Bettis handling more of the load, Parker can get the rest he needs in order to provide the explosive initial burst that makes him so effective when fresh.


    Passing: The Vikings' passing attack has become its main source of offensive production. The team is using more three- and four-receiver sets than ever and is even getting its receivers more involved in the running game in order to make up for the lack of consistent production from the running back position. WR Koren Robinson has stepped up as the big-play leader of the group but in all reality, Johnson's efficiency spreading the ball around the field has been the biggest reason for the team's recent success.

    Last week, for example, Johnson completed passes to nine different Vikings skill players. In doing so, it eliminates tendencies and forces opposing defenses to play honest. The Vikings continue to improve up front in terms of protecting Johnson in the pocket, and Johnson seemingly is seeing the field more clearly with every start.

    The Steelers could be without starting RDC Deshea Townsend after he suffered a concussion late in the second quarter versus the Bears last week. If that's the case, look for the Vikings to spread things out even more in order to test the depth of the Steelers' secondary. With Robinson, Travis Taylor, Marcus Robinson, Nate Burleson and Troy Williamson all proving capable of chipping in, the Vikings can simply rotate three and four receivers in and out of the game.



    ==================================================
    I like Scouts, Inc. cuz dey don' seem ta have no axe ta grind, y'know? Dey jus' tell da strenks and weaknesses as dey see 'em, y'know? Anyways, I get da feelin' from readin' dis dat da Vikes could really bust some footballs out dere, y'know?
    Two things stuck out when I read this article.

    Bettis, is not fresh. They showed some video of him limping around his house before the Bears game last sunday. He got RE-banged up in the game against the Bears. He is not fresh!!! Parker will get most of the carries. We need to keep him from getting around the corner.

    Passing, is key for us. The fact that we don't have "tendencies" on offense will help us. The Steelers were playing to stop the run in ChiTown last week, and were not worried about the pass. They got the lead and were going to make the Bears pass the ball. The Bears couldn't get back into it. WE ARE NOT THE BEARS. We can pass the ball and we are able to get back into a game if we get down.

    Field position on Special teams will mean a lot in this game. Hopefully Bennett will be better this week in the Punting Game. Anyone have a Kluwe update??????????

  6. #6
    nephilimstorm's Avatar
    nephilimstorm is offline Star Spokesman
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    Re: Scouts Inc. article on Vikes vs. Steelers

    this is gonna be a great game at that metrodome...bettis will of course not be running over ppl in this game like he did to Brian Urlacher lol...but hell get a nice face of pat willians plus big kev is due back

  7. #7
    mnjamie's Avatar
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    Re: Scouts Inc. article on Vikes vs. Steelers

    "snowinapril" wrote:
    "OldManVike" wrote:
    Ok, youse mugs, dis is da article youse guys need ta read on da game dis week....
    ==================================================

    Steelers, Vikings working without a net
    ESPN Insider
    By Scouts, Inc.

    Bettis is as healthy as he has been all season and also has fresh legs because of such limited action this year
    (only 84 carries in 2005). With Bettis handling more of the load, Parker can get the rest he needs in order to provide the explosive initial burst that makes him so effective when fresh.


    Passing: The Vikings' passing attack has become its main source of offensive production. The team is using more three- and four-receiver sets than ever and is even getting its receivers more involved in the running game in order to make up for the lack of consistent production from the running back position. WR Koren Robinson has stepped up as the big-play leader of the group but in all reality, Johnson's efficiency spreading the ball around the field has been the biggest reason for the team's recent success.

    Last week, for example, Johnson completed passes to nine different Vikings skill players. In doing so, it eliminates tendencies and forces opposing defenses to play honest. The Vikings continue to improve up front in terms of protecting Johnson in the pocket, and Johnson seemingly is seeing the field more clearly with every start.

    The Steelers could be without starting RDC Deshea Townsend after he suffered a concussion late in the second quarter versus the Bears last week. If that's the case, look for the Vikings to spread things out even more in order to test the depth of the Steelers' secondary. With Robinson, Travis Taylor, Marcus Robinson, Nate Burleson and Troy Williamson all proving capable of chipping in, the Vikings can simply rotate three and four receivers in and out of the game.



    ==================================================
    I like Scouts, Inc. cuz dey don' seem ta have no axe ta grind, y'know? Dey jus' tell da strenks and weaknesses as dey see 'em, y'know? Anyways, I get da feelin' from readin' dis dat da Vikes could really bust some footballs out dere, y'know?
    Two things stuck out when I read this article.

    Bettis, is not fresh. They showed some video of him limping around his house before the Bears game last sunday. He got RE-banged up in the game against the Bears. He is not fresh!!! Parker will get most of the carries. We need to keep him from getting around the corner.

    Passing, is key for us. The fact that we don't have "tendencies" on offense will help us. The Steelers were playing to stop the run in ChiTown last week, and were not worried about the pass. They got the lead and were going to make the Bears pass the ball. The Bears couldn't get back into it. WE ARE NOT THE BEARS. We can pass the ball and we are able to get back into a game if we get down.

    Field position on Special teams will mean a lot in this game. Hopefully Bennett will be better this week in the Punting Game. Anyone have a Kluwe update??????????


    Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings
    PIT DOUBTFUL OLB Andre Frazier (Hamstring)
    T Marvel Smith (Ankle)
    QUESTIONABLE DE Travis Kirschke (Back)
    CB Deshea Townsend (Neck)
    PROBABLE RB Jerome Bettis (Quadricep)
    CB Chidi Iwuoma (Glute)
    DE Brett Keisel (Shoulder)
    OLB Joey Porter (Elbow)
    QB Ben Roethlisberger (Thumb)
    T Max Starks (Shoulder)
    WR Hines Ward (Ankle)
    MIN OUT OLB Keith Newman (Knee)
    QUESTIONABLE P Chris Kluwe (Knee)
    PROBABLE LB Heath Farwell (Knee)
    RB Mewelde Moore (Quadricep)
    CB Fred Smoot (Shoulder)
    DT Kevin Williams (Knee)



    http://www.nfl.com/injuries

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