The Vikings and Steelers traveled to London in order to continue relations with the Britts so the league could try to get a few new teams across the pond and expand its revenue stream even further. The game was scheduled long before the start of the season, back at a time when it was thought that these would be two respectable teams making an early push for the playoffs. Little did they know that both teams would already have the 2014 draft in the front of their minds this early in the season.
The game still turned out to be interesting to watch all the way down to the final drive. The Vikings started this game the same as the previous 3, getting an early score, scoring the first touchdown of the game and then backing down a bit to see how the opposition responds. The Steelers were able to get back within 3-points, but for once the Vikings were able to maintain the lead all throughout the game.
Matt Cassel got the start at QB today in place of the “injured” Christian Ponder. He had some less-than spectacular moments, including a fumble that should have been recovered by multiple Steelers for their first turnover of the year, but he lucked out and the ball bounced far enough down field before being recovered by a Viking, that it resulted in a first down. Cassel also showed that he could play far better than Ponder, finding his receivers quickly, throwing the ball with zip to reduce the defense’s time to adjust, and not panicking quite so much when the protection broke down. Cassel even was able to get the Vikings their first two WR TDs of the year, both to Greg Jennings, who until today was not performing up to his pay scale.
Adrian Peterson finally got things together today as well. With his favorite blocker back from suspension, he was able to run for 140-yards, averaging 6.1 yards per carry, and scored 2-TDs – including a 60-yard burst to the endzone to start off the second quarter.
Defensively, the team was once again embarrassing. Although they gave up the fewest points yet this year, they still allowed 27-points and 383 passing yards to a team that was averaging only 14-points per game. Some positive takeaways from the defense, however, include an interception by Greenway, sacks by Greenway (1), Floyd (.5), Griffen (1), and Allen (2.5), and a forced fumble by Griffen that was recovered by Williams at the goal line to seal the victory in the closing seconds of the game with the final score 27-34 in favor of the “home team”.