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  1. #21
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: Steelers will be a true test of Vikings' mettle

    Maybe we go after them in the pass game.

    Personally, I would like to get a lead on them.

    Orton had 205 yards passing on them. He completed less than half his passes. If Johnson could complete his normal 61.7%, we would be doing good.




  2. #22
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    Re: Steelers will be a true test of Vikings' mettle

    the bears have no offensive. they cannot score. they play offensive to not turn the ball over and then get points if they are lucky. the steelers, or anyone for that matter, holding the bears to little points means nothing.

    i am totally scared for our runningbacks. i will say they played a good game if, AND ONLY IF, they do not turn the ball over. no fumbles. period.
    We're bringing purple back.

  3. #23
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    Re: Steelers will be a true test of Vikings' mettle

    [size=18px]Vikings: It's time for the offense to stand and deliver[/size]

    The Vikings offense will get a tough test over the season's final three weeks, beginning with Sunday's game against the Steelers.

    Judd Zulgad, Star Tribune
    Last update: December 13, 2005 at 9:17 PM


    Jermaine Wiggins isn't one of those bury-your-head-in-the-sand athletes who believes a victory masks all flaws and should silence any criticism. So when the tight end examined the Vikings' 27-13 victory over the Rams on Sunday, his enthusiasm was tempered with the realization the offense could have done much more.

    Eight three-and-outs and having to settle for field goals after being given a short field twice in the first half were among the shortcomings.

    "As an offense we're going to have to step up," Wiggins said. "We're going to have to do something to carry our weight and obviously give us a chance to win ballgames.

    "Defensively, we've been playing well, but there's going to come a point where we've got to do something as an offense to be more consistent. ... Help out a lot more than what we've been doing."

    Given that the Vikings have built their six-game winning streak largely against teams with average to below-average defenses, it won't be an easy assignment for the NFL's 25th-ranked offense to find that consistency in the final three regular-season games.

    Beginning with Sunday's game against Pittsburgh, the Vikings will face defenses ranked eighth, sixth (Baltimore) and first (Chicago) in the NFL in the next three weeks. Green Bay's fifth-rated unit is the only top-10 defense the Vikings have faced during their winning streak.

    "The one thing that shows up in [good] defenses is aggression, and I think it's three really aggressive defenses" that the Vikings will face, offensive coordinator Steve Loney said. "They are going to get after you in their own way."

    The Steelers do that by using three down linemen and four linebackers, something the Vikings employed for three games this season. Although the Vikings faced a 3-4 defense Nov. 27 when they beat Cleveland 24-12, Pittsburgh runs a more advanced version that is expected to present more problems.

    "This is a move-around, high-octane, zone-dog [rush] football team," Vikings coach Mike Tice said. "You've got to make sure you don't try to get too cute offensively, and make sure you're not edgy. What they want you to do is be edgy, because they have tremendous speed, quickness and tenacity."

    Quarterback Brad Johnson made it through Sunday's game without being sacked -- the first time the Vikings have been perfect in that area this season -- but St. Louis' coaching staff called frequent blitzes that included rushing strong safety Adam Archuleta.

    The Steelers are likely to continue that pressure, hoping to rattle an offensive line that has been a work in progress throughout the season. The protection will have to account for Steelers outside linebackers Clark Haggans (left side) and Joey Porter. The pair has combined for 15 sacks, including a team-leading eight by Haggans. Haggans' backup, James Harrison, has three sacks, as does strong safety Troy Polamalu.

    The main thing that makes Haggans and Porter so dangerous is the Steelers' ability to disguise which one will be rushing.

    "The thing about a 3-4 is the structure of it is balanced and so they don't really key as to which side they're coming from," Loney said. "That's why they have 17 sacks between the two on the outside. ... That's the thing the 3-4 does. It's a balanced look so sometimes they may only come with four guys. But that outside linebacker, you've got to account for them on both sides because you don't know which side they are coming from."

    Tice said he thinks the athletic ability possessed by center Melvin Fowler and guards Adam Goldberg and Anthony Herrera will work in the Vikings' favor. Those three, along with tackles Bryant McKinnie and Marcus Johnson, will need to help establish the run game, or at least the threat of one, so the Vikings can use their bread-and-butter play, the play-action pass.

    That won't be easy against a Steelers defense that is fourth in the NFL against the rush. Pittsburgh's pass defense, however, is 21st. That's good news for the Vikings until you consider the Vikings only passed for 146 yards Sunday against St. Louis, which is giving up 233.1 passing yard per game (27th in the NFL).

    If that statistic repeats itself Sunday, the Vikings' winning streak will be in jeopardy. "Offensively, this week is a big week for us," Goldberg said. "We have to gear up because [we have] three elite defenses in the last three games. If we're going to make this playoff run a reality we're going to have to hold our weight."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  4. #24
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    Re: Steelers will be a true test of Vikings' mettle

    "gregair13" wrote:
    the bears have no offensive. they cannot score. they play offensive to not turn the ball over and then get points if they are lucky. the steelers, or anyone for that matter, holding the bears to little points means nothing.

    i am totally scared for our runningbacks. i will say they played a good game if, AND ONLY IF, they do not turn the ball over. no fumbles. period.
    I totally disagree.

    They do not have a high powered offense, but they have a good running game and a solid and efficient passing game.

    I worry about the run. As long as our D does not have to be on the field for a long time, we'll do ok.

  5. #25
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    Re: Steelers will be a true test of Vikings' mettle

    The Vikings offense has to be more efficient and they will win this one. The Steelers are not a big scoring offense.

    There were a lot of dropped passes last week and a few penalties that stiffled what could have been an even easier win for the Vikings.

    They can't let the Steelers tie the score like the Rams did. That let the Rams back in the game when it could have been over.

    The Steelers are a LOT better than the Rams.

  6. #26
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    Vikings defense will have its hands full with Bettis, Parker

    From The Mercury News;

    Posted on Sat, Dec. 17, 2005

    [size=18px]Vikings' defense will have its hands full with Bettis, Parker[/size]

    BY SEAN JENSEN
    Knight Ridder Newspapers


    ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Pittsburgh Steelers' versatile backs versus the Vikings' stingy run defense is considered the key clash in Sunday's showdown at the Metrodome.
    That is a compliment, Vikings middle linebacker Sam Cowart said.
    "The ultimate thing right now is that this is a topic," Cowart said. "That means we're starting to live up to our capabilities, because a couple of weeks ago, it would have been, `Oh, Pittsburgh is going to run all over them.' But we've started to put some games together."
    Said Vikings weak-side linebacker E.J. Henderson, "We think we're a run-stopping defense, and we're tough up front, so this is a good game to prove it."
    Since the Atlanta Falcons' top-rated rushing offense piled up 285 yards against them, the Vikings have stuffed their opponents, giving up an average of 82.7 yards on the ground over the past nine games. The Vikings have not allowed an individual to top 100 rushing yards, and they have faced three 1,000-yard backs: Tiki Barber of the New York Giants (third overall in the NFL with 1,357 rushing yards), Reuben Droughns of the Cleveland Browns (ninth with 1,103) and Thomas Jones of the Chicago Bears (10th with 1,077).
    The Steelers don't have a 1,000-yard rusher but have the league's ninth-rated run offense, future hall of famer Jerome Bettis (287 rushing yards on 84 carries this season) and the unheralded but effective Willie Parker (856 rushing yards on 198 attempts).
    "They're going to pound it," Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell said. `They don't care. They're going to run it. That's Pittsburgh.
    "You've got to stop it. `If not, (they'll say), `We're going to keep running it down your throat.' "
    The Steelers live and die by their running game. They are 8-0 in games in which they gain at least 100 rushing yards, and they are 0-5 when they do not reach that mark.
    But nearly as important as rushing yardage is the number of run attempts. The Steelers are 7-0 when they run the ball at least 30 times, and they are 1-5 when they do not, their lone victory coming when they ran the ball 28 times for 101 yards in a 20-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
    Meanwhile, the Vikings will employ the same strategy they have throughout their six-game winning streak: Try to beat us through the air.
    "By no means am I saying they can't throw the football," Vikings safety Darren Sharper said of Pittsburgh. "But I truly believe the strength of their team is running the ball. If it does get to a passing game, we might get another opportunity to have a five-pick game. That's the attitude we're going to have."
    During their three-game losing streak, the Steelers rushed an average of 26 times for 83.6 yards (3.2 yards a carry). But they snapped that skid Sunday with a dominant 21-9 defeat of the Chicago Bears. In that game, Pittsburgh overwhelmed the Bears' top-rated defense for 190 rushing yards on 46 carries.
    "They ran over the Bears (and) gashed them pretty good," Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams said. "So basically, we've got to stop that running game and make them pass. That's going to be our main focus."
    While Duce Staley has been slowed by injuries, the Steelers still feature Parker and Bettis, who have vastly different styles. Bettis is a battering ram; Parker can beat you with his feet.
    "They have a nice one-two combination," Vikings coach Mike Tice said. "(Parker) will stretch that ball and get outside like an Edgerrin James-type runner. So it poses some challenges to have two different types of backs because you have to prepare for two different type plays really. They are a very good tandem."
    The Steelers' offense is built to run. Their offensive linemen and tight ends are excellent blockers, and Hines Ward is arguably the NFL's best-blocking receiver.
    "They won't abandon it," Cottrell said. "You can stop them for a 1-yard gain, and the next play, they'll run another 1-yard gain. They stick with it. That's been their attitude.
    "They'll keep pounding you and pounding and pounding you, figuring that you're going to break or you're going to give it up, or you won't be as excited about playing against the run late in the fourth quarter."
    Cowart said that is where the Vikings' offense can help. The Steelers are not built to come from behind.
    "If we can get up, then we might be able to get them out of running so much," Cowart said. "But if the game is tight or they get a lead, they're handing the ball off and they're running, and they got three or four guys they can lean on."
    Sharper said he can't wait for Sunday's showdown.
    "It's going to be a meeting of two strong heads, as far as one team that's stopped the run well in the last couple of games, and another team that runs the ball effectively," Sharper said. "It's going to be a test of wills. It's one of those games you enjoy playing in, if you're a true football player."

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  7. #27
    Try2bsly is offline Training Camp
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    Steelers fan here...

    One thing I feel confident about is that the Steelers will be able to get yards on the ground and hold the vikings offense on the ground. I feel brad will be able to get some yards dinking and dunking but and IF the vikings offense drops a few...makes a couple mistakes...they will get beat by the Steelers D. They are fast and the turf only makes them faster...I dont think this will be a shot out game...The Steelers will run..run..run..and keep brad away.

  8. #28
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    Re: Steelers fan here...

    "Try2bsly" wrote:
    One thing I feel confident about is that the Steelers will be able to get yards on the ground and hold the vikings offense on the ground. I feel brad will be able to get some yards dinking and dunking but and IF the vikings offense drops a few...makes a couple mistakes...they will get beat by the Steelers D. They are fast and the turf only makes them faster...I dont think this will be a shot out game...The Steelers will run..run..run..and keep brad away.
    You are overlooking this fact;

    The Vikings have not allowed an individual to top 100 rushing yards, and they have faced three 1,000-yard backs: Tiki Barber of the New York Giants (third overall in the NFL with 1,357 rushing yards), Reuben Droughns of the Cleveland Browns (ninth with 1,103) and Thomas Jones of the Chicago Bears (10th with 1,077).
    The key to a Vikings win is stopping the Steelers run game.

    "If at first you don't succeed, parachuting is not for you"

  9. #29
    Try2bsly is offline Training Camp
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    Re: Steelers will be a true test of Vikings' mettle

    I agree...It will be a good test. No knock on the vikings D...they look good. But I'm not convince they will fair that well against the Steelers. The browns did not commit to ruben d after the first half...he was moving the ball. The vikings can stop the run but not all day...the front line of the D will and does get tired. Thats when the Steelers win.

  10. #30
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    Re: Steelers will be a true test of Vikings' mettle

    Yeah, a win in this game will show the critics that we are for real. But then again, if we do win, it will probably be our second win in the 'Fluke Loss' colum along with the Giants...*sigh*

    I hate it when people put up that arguement.. a win is a win.
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