When the Pittsburgh Steelers take the field on Sunday for what promises to be a raucous “welcome back” from their Steel City fans, they’ll face a Minnesota Vikings team considerably tougher than many anticipated back when the Steelers originally released their 2017 schedule. By contrast to Pittsburgh’s Week 1 opponent, the Cleveland Browns, the Vikings are a team with a realistic shot to defeat any NFL team on any given Sunday, Thursday or Monday.
In view of what we saw (or didn’t see) from the Steelers last Sunday in Cleveland, and also taking account of the team that Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer has carefully assembled during the 2016 season and via the 2017 NFL Draft, Pittsburgh definitely has its work cut out in its season debut before the hometown crowd. With the stage set for what promises to be a very competitive clash, it’s time to roll out the three keys to a Steelers victory over the men in purple:
Key No. 1: Limit Dalvin Cook (i.e. the Vikings’ rushing game)
If you’re under the impression—following Adrian Peterson’s departure for The Big Easy back in April—that the Vikings have reverted to a pedestrian ground attack, you might be in for quite a surprise. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook has a stellar resume which includes the notable honor of being the Florida State Seminoles’ all-time leading rusher. Despite being a second-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Cook had been ranked by Sports Illustrated in its draft preview as the top RB available. Last Monday night against the New Orleans Saints, Cook set a new Minnesota record for a regular-season debut by a rookie RB with 127 yards…
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