NFL Week 14 Preview
Steelers @ Vikings
In this game, we have two of the most inconsistent teams in the NFL. There will be weeks where they are beating a team like the Packers or Ravens and the next they'll be losing to or tying with the Lions. The Vikings' offense has been running through Justin Jefferson this season. Jefferson has established himself as a top-five receiver in the NFL and has been cooking defensive backs all season long. His ability to drop his weight at the top of routes and change directions have been generating massive amounts of separation. With Adam Thielen out due to an ankle injury, Jefferson is going to receive plenty of double teams. That means KJ Osborn will have opportunities as the number two receiver to get into the end zone. With Dalvin Cook playing through torn labrum, I expect the Vikings to lean on the passing game. As a pass-rusher, TJ Watt has been dominant this season. Dominant may be underplaying just how good he is; he has 16 sacks in ten games. That means he is averaging over 1.5 sacks per game. Kirk Cousins struggles against teams that can generate pressure with four-man rushes; his inability to make defenders miss in the pocket will put the Vikings in third-and-longs. This will take the ball out of Dalvin Cook's hands and into the hands of Steelers' defensive backs. Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel sliced this defense to pieces on the ground just two weeks ago, I expect Najee Harris to do the same on Thursday Night. This matchup is favorable for the Steelers even on a short week. While I believe KJ Osborn and Justin Jefferson will have big games, I expect the Steelers to come out of Minnesota with a victory.
What to Watch For: Can KJ Osborn step up in Adam Thielen's absence?
Player of the Game: TJ Watt EDGE Steelers
Final Score: Steelers 26 Vikings 21