Here's how to make Minnesota 0-4:
No. 1 – Contain Adrian Peterson: That's an all-day job for the defense but one that this defense, warts and all, appears up to accomplishing. Fly to the football, gang tackle and play with the understanding that the next carry is the one that will potentially mean everything.
Peterson has three rushing TDs and is averaging 4.1 yards per carry but he's also lost a fumble in consecutive games. If the Steelers can do to him what they've already done to Chris Johnson and Matt Forte, they'll have an excellent chance of putting the game in Christian Ponder's hands.
And if that happens the Steelers will be coming home from London turnover-starved no more, assuming they can keep Ponder from beating them with his legs when Peterson's fail.
No. 2 – Get Le'Veon Bell going: This has been the plan since the draft.
Better late than never.
Bell has something to prove, as does the Steelers' offensive line. But after seeing some signs of life on occasion from the ground game against the Chicago
Bears there's reason to believe the Steelers are finally positioned to take the next step.
A lot of that has to do with Heath Miller being poised to play more snaps and more effectively in his second game back. Miller's presence in that regard means a great deal.
Bell can do the rest.
Understandably, there are lingering questions about that – even Ben Roethlisberger has wondered aloud what Bell is really capable of – because the Steelers still haven't seen it. Bell hasn't had a meaningful carry since Michigan State played TCU last December. And since that was in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, I'm not even sure the 32 attempts for 145 yards Bell had that night against the Horned Frogs qualify as "meaningful."
But what Bell can bring will become apparent soon enough.
And the Steelers will be perceived differently once it does.
No. 3 – Repeat as necessary: No one spent much time singing the praises of the special teams after the Chicago game. But the kickoff and punt teams did an outstanding job of making sure Devin Hester wasn't a factor.
The most explosive return man in NFL history had erupted for 249 kickoff return yards the previous week against the Vikings. But when asked about that in advance of the Bears game, all special teams coach Danny Smith and kicker Shaun Suisham would offer was to maintain that the Steelers had a plan and were confident they would execute it to their satisfaction.
Holding Hester to 26 kickoff return yards (13 per attempt) and 0 punt return yards and twice tackling him inside the 20-yard line on kickoffs, including once inside the 10, had to be pretty satisfying.
They'll need to approach Minnesota's Cordarrelle Paterson (he took a kickoff 105 yards to the house against Chicago) with the same sense of urgency and purpose.
If they do, if they accomplish all of the above – there's no reason to suspect the Steelers can't, even considering what we've endured over the first three weeks – they'll be able to finally win a game, exhale and regain their equilibrium.
And once that happens, a great many things will once again seem possible.