Vikings-Steelers game scout

Get the weekend schedule of games, keys to the Vikings and Steelers, series history, fast facts and more.

Sunday
San Francisco 49ers (3-2) at Houston Texans (3-3)
Chicago Bears (3-2) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
Buffalo Bills (2-4) at Carolina Panthers (2-3)
Arizona Cardinals (3-2) at New York Giants (5-1)
San Diego Chargers (2-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1-5)
Indianapolis Colts (5-0) at St. Louis Rams (0-6)
Atlanta Falcons (4-1) at Dallas Cowboys (3-2)
New York Jets (3-3) at Oakland Raiders (2-4)
Green Bay Packers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (1-5)
New England Patriots (4-2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-6)
New Orleans Saints (5-0) at Miami Dolphins (2-3)
Minnesota Vikings (6-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)
Monday
Philadelphia Eagles (3-2) at Washington Redskins (2-4)

Minnesota Vikings (6-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2)

KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
GAMEDATE: 10/25/09
SURFACE: Grass
TV: FOX (Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa)

SERIES 15th regular-season meeting. Vikings lead, 8-6, and are 4-4 in Pittsburgh. The Steelers defeated the Vikings, 16-6, in Super Bowl IX on Jan. 12, 1975, in New Orleans in the only postseason meeting between these teams. That marked the third of Minnesota's four Super Bowl losses.

KEYS TO THE GAME

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson leads the league with 618 rushing yards while the Steelers give up just 74.5 yards per game on the ground. The ability of Pittsburgh's front seven to contain Peterson will be key. That would prevent QB Brett Favre from effectively working off play-action and potentially create turnover opportunities for the Steelers when Favre is backed into long passing situations.

The availability of CB Antoine Winfield, the Vikings' top cover man, is critical. Minnesota has the ability to contain the Steelers' ground game, but QB Ben Roethlisberger is completing 72.5 percent of his passes and has an array of options downfield. An important battle will be waged on Roethlisberger's blind side between LT Max Starks and Vikings DE Jared Allen (8.0 sacks).

FAST FACTS

The Vikings are outscoring their opponents 51-10 in the fourth quarter. The Steelers have been outscored 52-13 in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers' four victories have come against teams with a combined 4-19 record.

VIKINGS

  • QB Brett Favre made his first career start as a Green Bay Packer against the Steelers on Sept. 27, 1992, when he completed 14 of 19 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns, including a 76-yarder to Sterling Sharpe. Favre's passer rating that day was an outstanding 144.6.

  • The Steelers have won the past two games in this series (2001 and 2005) with the 2001 game at Heinz Field and the 2005 game at the Metrodome. Before that the Vikings had won four of five games against the Steelers.

  • The Steelers beat the Vikings, 18-3, on Dec. 18, 2005, at the Metrodome as Minnesota gained only 185 total yards, including 54 on the ground. Running back Mewelde Moore, who has since joined the Steelers, played for the Vikings in that game.

  • The Vikings hold the longest winning streak in the series with a three-game stretch ranging from 1964 to 1969.

  • The Vikings will face both teams that played in last season's Super Bowl this year, going up against Pittsburgh on Sunday and Arizona on Dec. 6. The last time the Vikings faced both teams from the previous Super Bowl came in 2001, as they played Baltimore and the New York Giants. In franchise history, the Vikings have played both defending NFC and AFC champions a total of seven times (1978,'81,'84,'90,'97,'99 and 2001).

  • The Vikings are looking for their seventh consecutive road victory, dating to Nov. 23 of last season when they beat Jacksonville.

  • Vikings coach Brad Childress is looking for his third consecutive victory vs. a former colleague who is now a head coach. Included on the list are St. Louis' Steve Spagnuolo and Baltimore's John Harbaugh - both of whom Childress served as an assistant with in Philadelphia. On Sunday, he will face Mike Tomlin, who served as the Vikings' defensive coordinator in 2006 during Childress' first season as coach.

  • Team consultant/historian Fred Zamberletti, the Vikings' one-time trainer, will celebrate his 1,000th Vikings game. He has worked for the franchise since its inception in 1961 and has attended every game in its history.

    STEELERS

  • K Jeff Reed apologized to his teammates and the fans for his arrest on multiple charges Sunday night during a scuffle with Pittsburgh police.

    "It may not sound like it when something like this comes up, but I like to represent this team as well as I can," said Reed, a team captain.

  • TE Matt Spaeth was cited by police for public urination, an incident that led to Reed fighting with cops when he tried to help his teammate.

    "I apologized for the distraction that it caused both to the organization and to my teammates," Spaeth said.

  • Dan Rooney, who became U.S. Ambassador to Ireland this summer, will see his third Steelers game this season Sunday, the day after his granddaughter is married in Pittsburgh.

  • The Steelers could play consecutive unbeaten teams for the first time since 2004, when they beat New England and Philadelphia in Weeks 8-9 at Heinz Field. They play the Vikings (6-0) Sunday at Heinz Field and play at Denver (6-0) Nov. 9. The Broncos have to play at Baltimore Nov. 1, though.


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