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This week’s matchup with the Steelers is going to provide the Vikings with an opportunity to get the ground game going. For starters Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton returns to the lineup and that on its own is going to be a boost. But second, Pittsburgh’s personnel are allowing just 3.3 yards per carry.
The front the Vikings are going to see today does not match the talent that the Vikings have seen up front so far this season, and the usual dominance the Steelers bring.
And speaking of the Vikings running game, don’t worry about the “slow” start for Adrian Peterson. While he does lead the NFL with three touchdown runs and he’s sixth in the NFL with 281 rushing yards, we all have higher standards for the reigning MVP so the start is still consider slow.
But last year through three games, Peterson had 51 fewer rushing yards on only 11 fewer carries, he had the same number of 100-yard games (one) and he didn’t have consecutive 100-yard games until Week 7 or Week 8. Hold off on your frustration with the Vikings running game. With Matt Cassel in starting, things should start to look up.
The defense needs to step. In the past two games The Vikings were in the lead in the 4th quarter but the defense could not stop the other team from scoring and within the final minute of the game, they lost. We are currently tied for 1st in the NFL with 6 interceptions. Last year, the Vikings managed to pick off 10 passes. With 10 takeaways, the Vikings are also tied for 2nd in the league in takeaways. This is a game the defense must impact. It’s not going to be good enough to just hit the quarterback after he throws it – they must hit Ben Roethlisberger while he has the ball and they must close on sacks.