Desperate for a win.
This could explain the attitude of both the Steelers and the Vikings who will play their NFL matchup in London this weekend. Coach Tomlin assured fans that this "is not a vacation." They need to win. They need to play with some consistency and authority.
The Steelers get Heath Miller in a full role this weekend and Le'Veon Bell will hopefully show what he's made of. Unfortunately, when you see quotes like this:
"Honestly, I have no idea with him," Roethlisberger told KDKA-FM Tuesday, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You can't get a read on him. One day, he's practicing, one day, he's not; one day, he's going hard, the next day, he's not. I wish I could."
You have to wonder what Ben was thinking by airing this dirty laundry. It certainly doesn't get me excited as a fan, in fact, just the opposite. While some fans were quick to point out that we don't know what Bell can contribute, I feel that there are better ways a the leader of a team could point that out without sounding negative. Of course, this isn't the first time we've heard this kind of quote from Ben's mouth, surely it won't be the last.
That said, the Vikings are no joke. Ponder and his bruised ribs will be on the bench which is actually bad news for the Steelers because Matt Cassel is a little more rounded and can throw the ball downfield, something Ponder struggled with so far this season.
While the Vikings could throw the ball, expect Adrian Peterson to carry the load. This is dangerous for the Steelers defense who typically allow few yards on the ground with their stingy defense. But not this year so far. While they've played half decent, they have allowed some yards and points and they have ZERO takeaways. The only team in the League this season with no defensive takeaways. Bottom line is they need to take Peterson out of the game and force the Vikings to throw and rely on the secondary to do its job.
Ben also needs to throw the ball. I question his accuracy this season. There's plenty of blame to go around for problems offensively. From Haley to Ben to the O-line. Plenty to go around.
I have to admit, I am not excited about this game. Both teams are 0-3 and both need to win. Yet the Vikings have been in their games at least, just need slightly better execution. Can't say the same for the Steelers though there have been glimpses of mediocrity, not greatness.
If Ben can be accurate, the receivers can get separation, the Line can block anyone (seriously, anyone) and Bell shows a hint of promise....this could be the game.
Looking for win #1. Here we go.