A week after limiting the NFL’s No. 2 ranked offense from a season ago in the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings are facing another tough challenge in Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were the No. 7 ranked offense in 2016.
Loaded with obvious superstars in running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Antonio Brown, slowing down both will definitely be a tall task. As witnessed on many other occasions though, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer loves facing potent offenses and the challenges they present.
Being matched up against the Steelers is not unfamiliar though. In his time as defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals (2008-2013), he was forced to see them twice a season.
In his Wednesday press conference, Roethlisberger mentioned that the Vikings defense has many similarities to the current Bengals. With so many weapons offensively, what should be the game plan that Zimmer uses to slow down their explosive offense on Sunday?
One of the Steelers’ worst statistical outputs of last season was during the 2017 AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots. They had success through the air, finishing with 314 passing yards, but they struggled running the ball, collecting only 54 yards on 20 attempts.
Analyzing and assessing this information from that game, I took an in-depth look at what exactly Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia did to limit the Steelers offense.