TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers
Minnesota Vikings
steelerscredit3.jpg
vikingscredit2.jpg
Quarterback
Winner The hole for the Pittsburgh Steelers keeps on getting deeper and deeper, and Ben Roethlisberger is coming off a game in which he had an interception and a fumble returned for a touchdown by the Chicago Bears in Week Three. Roethlisberger must stay away from the boatload of turnovers he has made or the Steelers will continue to lose.
The Vikings' decision to stick with Christian Ponder as their starting quarterback was a mistake. Ponder is fairly athletic, but he rarely makes the right decision in crucial situations and he lacks the arm strength, accuracy and quick release to lead a dependable offense. Ponder struggles in all aspects of the game and that’s not likely to change any time soon.
Offense
The Steelers were able to move the ball successfully against the Bears in Week Three for the first time this season. Jonathan Dwyer had a few decent runs, but the running game still needs to improve. Wide receiver Antonio Brown demonstrated his penchant for making acrobatic catches and was spectacular. Jerricho Cotchery also can make key catches as well.
Winner There’s no secret to what the Vikings want to do and that’s a big problem. When the quarterback play is deficient, the running game gets hurt because opposing defenses don’t have to respect the running option. Adrian Peterson is starting to get frustrated with the Vikings’ performance, and his tweet probably reflects the way his teammates feel.
Defense
Winner The Steelers have been one of the game’s dominant defensive teams for generations, but they have not asserted themselves this season. While the turnovers by the offense were largely responsible for their loss to the Bears, they could not stop Jay Cutler in the final quarter. DE Brett Keisel had a sack against Chicago but the pass rush needs to improve.
The Vikings shut down the Browns for the majority of the second half, but they couldn’t do it on the game’s final drive and that cost them the game. Linebacker Erin Henderson had 8 tackles, 2.0 sacks and an interception, but the Vikings need to put more pressure on the quarterback when the game is on the line. Linebacker Chad Greenway remains an impact player.
Special Teams
Shaun Suisham is proving to be an adequate kicker, as he made 3-of-3 field goal attempts against the Bears. He is one of the few Steelers playing with confidence. Zoltan Mesko is coming off a poor game in which he averaged 29.5 yards on his two punts, but he is normally strong.
Winner The Vikings can win games with their special teams. Patterson is a burner and he has already returned one kickoff for a touchdown. Blair Walsh is one of the best kickers in the game and Jeff Locke did a decent job punting the ball.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

steelerscredit3.jpg vikingscredit2.jpg

Both teams are among the biggest disappointments in football this season. However, the Steelers have a big edge at quarterback because Ponder is not an NFL-caliber leader. That should be enough for them to pick up their first win of the season.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. GREEN BAY, WI - JANUARY 8:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers drops back to pass in the second quarter during the NFC Wild Card game against the New York Giants at Lambeau Field on January 8, 2017 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys throws against the Detroit Lions during the first half at AT&T Stadium on December 26, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Green Bay Packers at Dallas Cowboys

    The Packers look to avenge a loss to the Cowboys in the regular season.

  2. PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off to Le\'Veon Bell #26 during the second quarter against the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 25:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs in action during the game against the Denver Broncos at Arrowhead Stadium on December 25, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs

    The red-hot Steelers head to KC for a rematch with a Chiefs team they throttled 43-14 in the regular season.

  3. HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 07:  Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans hands off to Lamar Miller #26 at NRG Stadium on January 7, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots points to the defense during the 1st quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
    Divisional Round Tale: Houston Texans at New England Patriots

    The Texans head to Foxboro, the site of a 27-0 loss in the regular season and now have to face Tom Brady this time around.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App
Drip Pan: Restaurant Week 365

Listen Live