Week 14 starts tonight with the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers desperately trying to stay in the playoff pictures in their respective conferences. The Vikings are in full desperation mode from here on out. They essentially have to win out to have a shot at making the postseason.
To that end, 11 days after dislocating his left shoulder; the Vikings are considering letting Dalvin Cook give it a go tonight against Pittsburgh. On the other hand, Adam Theilen has been ruled out of tonight’s contest with an ankle injury.
The Steelers come into this one on the heels of a victory over Baltimore that pushed them back above .500, but let’s be honest, it was a pretty unconvincing victory. Ben Roethlisberger is likely in the twilight of his Steelers days, so this season is probably going to be his best and final shot at the Super Bowl ring that has eluded him his entire career. A win over Minnesota tonight would push the Steelers to 7-5-1 and put them back into the AFC North conversation, with Baltimore and Cincinnati checking in this week at 8-4 and 7-5, respectively.
Let’s enjoy this one tonight, because after all, how often do we get to see a matchup between two teams that have failed to beat the lowly one-win Detroit Lions that still, somehow, have playoff hopes!?
That final drive to seal the deal.
— Detroit Lions (@Lions) December 6, 2021
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1, 3rd AFC North) at Minnesota Vikings (5-7, 2nd NFC North) – FOX, NFL Network (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Erin Andrews, Kristina Pink), Westwood One (Ian Eagle, Tony Boselli)
Kickoff Time: 7:20 p.m. CT
Site: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Mn.
Referee: Clete Blakeman
Odds: MIN -3, O/U 44.5 (via DraftKings Sports Book)
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun!
Steelers: Mike Tomlin (151-83-2) vs. Vikings: Mike Zimmer (69-54-1)
Starting QBs and Projected Game Stats
Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger: 26/40, 286 passing yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 1 carries, 2 rushing yards
Vikings: Kirk Cousins: 23/35, 265 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 2 carries, 8 rushing yards
Week 14 projected stats via ESPN projections
Steelers Projected Starters
• QB Ben Roethlisberger
• RB Najee Harris
• WRs Dionte Johnson, Chase Claypool, James Washington
• TE Pat Freiermuth
• LT Dan Moore Jr., LG Joe Hang, C Kendrick Green, RG Trai Turner, RT Chukwuma Okorafor
• DT Cameron Heyward, DE Chris Wormley, NT Henry Mondeaux
• LOLB T.J. Watt, LILB Devin Bush, RILB Joe Schobert, ROLB Alex Highsmith
• LCB Joe Haden, RCB Cameron Sutton
• FS Minkah Fitzpatrick, SS Terrell Edmunds
• Chris Boswell (kicker), Pressley Harvin III (punter, holder), Christian Kuntz (long snapper), Ray-Ray McCloud (kick and punt returns)
Vikings Projected Starters
• QB Kirk Cousins
• RB Davlin Cook
• WRs Justin Jefferson, Sean Mannion
• TE Tyler Conklin
• LT Christian Darrisaw, LG Ezra Cleveland, C Garrett Bradbury, RG Olisaemeka, RT Brian O’Neill
• LE D.J. Wonnum, DT Dalvin Tomlinson, NT Michael Pierce, RE Tashawn Bower
• WILL Nick Vigil, MLB Eric Kendricks, SAM Anthony Barr
• LCB Patrick Peterson, RCB Bashaud Breeland
• FS Xavier Woods, SS Harrison Smith
• Greg Joseph (kicker), Jordan Berry (punter, holder), Andrew DePaola (long snapper), Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Dede Westbrook (kick and punt returns)
Steelers inactives: QB Dwayne Haskins, CB Joe Haden, RB Anthony McFarland, Robert Spillane, C B.J. Finney, DT Carlos Davis, DT Isaiah Buggs
With both Davis and Buggs out, expect to see a lot of Montravius Adams again.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 9, 2021
QB Kellen Mond
WR Adam Thielen
CB Harrison Hand
LB Chazz Surratt
LB Blake Lynch
T Christian Darrisaw
DE Tashawn Bower
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 9, 2021