TV Schedule: Sunday, Sept. 29, 1:00 p.m. ET, CBS
Stadium: Wembley Stadium
Weather: Low 58, High 69
Line: Pittsburgh (-1.5)
In a battle of winless teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Minnesota Vikings will travel to London, England, to face off against each other. One team will head back to the United States with a win and the other will be 0-4. Pittsburgh has depended heavily on Ben Roethlisberger‘s arm through the first three weeks — and that’s just because there is no evidence of a run game. Roethlisberger has 848 yards and four touchdowns through the air and Antonio Brown leads the team with 324 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 20 catches. Heath Miller returned at tight end to help Big Ben out while rookie running back Le’Veon Bell might be returning this week — in fact, he’s expected to play — which will boost the league’s second-worst rushing offense.
On the other side of the field, the Vikings are 0-3 after two straight heartbreaking losses that came in the final minutes against the Chicago Bears and Cleveland Browns. Christian Ponder suffered a somewhat devastating rib injury that could set him out for the game against Pittsburgh. The team has yet to announce the extent of the injury, but Matt Cassel could see his first action in quite some time. Adrian Peterson remains the best running back in the league and his 69 carries for 281 yards with three touchdowns further proves that he cannot be stopped. Starting Cassel over Ponder might be a blessing in disguise because Ponder has been long believed to be a mediocre quarterback and a career-backup.
Defensively, the Steelers allow the fifth-least yards in the league while having one of the best secondaries. This could spell trouble for Cassel or Ponder as the Steelers allow just 182 passing yards per game — the third-best mark in the league. Minnesota’s defense has been the problem this season as it allows 429 yards per game and 315 of those yards through the air. This is music to Roethlisberger’s ears.
PREDICTION: Steelers 28, Vikings 27