KEYS TO THE GAME: The Steelers want to have a balanced offense. While Brown has proven that he can get open against anybody, Rhodes just needs to slow Brown down for the Vikings to have a chance to win this game.
As I wrote about yesterday, look for Le'Veon Bell to be more active this week.
Offensively, the Vikings' line needs another clean performance. The Steelers expect more from him as the team's number 2 receiver and he'll need to deliver this week, because the Vikings were the 3 best pass defense in the National Football League last season.
Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) looks on and smiles during the fourth quarter against the New Orleans Saints at U.S. Bank Stadium. If the Steelers can pressure Bradford into short, quick throws - he had eight completions of 20 yards or more last week after averaging just three per game last season - they won't be bothered so much if he completes 70 percent of them.
Antonio Brown is a beast and he showed that yet again last week in Cleveland, but the Vikings may be better equipped than most teams to defend Brown. He amassed just 47 total yards from scrimmage, which, from a guy who ripped it up for 337 yards rushing in two playoff wins previous year, is a weak total.
Bradford has had numerous injuries before so it wouldn't also be much of a surprise if the Vikings decide to put him on the shelf for at least Week 2. Even if Rhodes can keep Brown in check, it's hard to imagine Bell struggling for a second straight week. Minnesota WR Adam Thielen led the team with nine receptions and 157 yards last week. The very idea shakes Vikings fans, who flashback to his 2013-14 injury that benched him for a season.
Roehtlisberger will always be a wild card, and even when the talent around him is struggling, he has shown an wonderful ability to make plays downfield and orchestrate some brilliant offensive drives. In the preseason for the Broncos, he completed 31 of 43 passes for 413 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions and an impressive passer rating of 125.4. He's projected for 260.2 yards, 1.61 touchdowns and 16.2 FanDuel points if he plays in Pittsburgh.