The quarterback experienced pain, swelling and discomfort in his left knee after the Vikings' season-opening win over the Saints - the same knee he had surgery on in 2013 and 2014 to fix a torn ACL. He is who he is, making games such as the one he had against New England unlikely to happen again anytime soon. Meanwhile the Steelers line has something to prove after the team managed just two offensive touchdowns in Cleveland, in part because of an anemic running game.
The Vikings are a team that matches up favorably with the Steelers across the board.
As I wrote about yesterday, look for Le'Veon Bell to be more active this week. The Vikings have a much better front seven than the Browns did.
On the other hand, the addition of rookie running back Kareem Hunt might have transformed the Kansas City offense.
Despite their mediocre offensive performance, the Steelers played a pretty solid defensive game, and if they can get pressure on Bradford, he's going to struggle against them.
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Watt downplayed his splashy start, pointing to mistakes such as a 15-yard personal foul penalty for a late hit as evidence he still has a ways to go. The Steelers expect more from him as the team's number 2 receiver and he'll need to deliver this week, because the Vikings were the 3 best pass defense in the National Football League last season. Rhodes is a big physical corner with excellent technique. Minnesota is a touchdown underdog to the Steelers. But the Vikings will want to try to keep either Rhodes or Newman on Brown for most of the game. Minnesota is one of those teams.
Line Play - This game could be decided by which team makes the right adjustments on the offensive line.
Bradford arrived in Minnesota via a trade with Philadelphia just prior to the start of last season.
FAST FACTS: Minnesota QB Sam Bradford completed 84.4 percent of his passes for 346 yards, three TDs and no INTs last week. Last week, Drew Brees was effective working passes to his backs against the Vikings defense - Mark Ingram had 5 catches for 54 yards and rookie Alvin had another 4 catches for 20 yards.
Pittsburgh is 9-1 in home openers under coach Mike Tomlin and averaged 30 points a game at Heinz Field in 2016 when Roethlisberger played.
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