Re: My keys to victory this week
I think the 'O'-line and backs have to force their will on the Vikings defense, especially on first down. If Pittsburgh can put itself in second and medium - six yards or less - it opens up a ton of different opportunities for Ben and the receivers. Plus, it allows meaningful play-action passes on any down. If the Steelers can put the threat of the run in Minnesota's heads, regardless of down, the offense becomes that much more dangerous.
Special teams is huge as well. This is off the top of my head, but I think that Koren Robinson is averaging about 26 yards a kickoff return and I know he's taken at least one to the house. If the Steelers allow the Vikings to get short fields it plays in to the strength of their offense. Minnesota doesn't have what many would consider a "big play" passing game. The like short, controlled routes and drops and they try to dink and dunk their way down the field. If the Vikes have to use that style to move the ball 75 yards down the field to get in the endzone, it seems that Pittsburgh can get wise and stop it.
Minnesota seems to be middle of the road on offense and defense so it seems that the Steelers should have a real advantage, at least statistically, over them. Scoring early to get the crowd out of it will also be big. Since this is only Ben's second game in a dome and the Vikings' fans will be pumped since their team is still alive, not giving them a reason to get loud can't do anything but make him feel a lot more relaxed.
Here we go Steelers, here we go! Another NFC North winning streak snapped.
Oh yeah, I forgot this one: Ben is going to be interviewed at the end of the second hour of The Jungle. War Jungle Karma!