The Vikings get the ball first and start picking apart the Steelers defense with short passes. They get a bonus facemask penalty that moves them into field goal range. Not much else. Blair Walsh has a big leg.
Markus Wheaton makes his first catch and moves the chains then gets wide open down the sideline on 3rd down but Ben throws it all the way to Buckingham Palace. A moment of excitement when the Vikings returner signals fair catch then takes off running with the ball. Luckily, the refs flag it.
On the third play, Cassel throws a short out to Jennings and he cuts inside Cortez and turns it up field, running through the Steelers defense and breaking hand tackles. Jennings cuts across the field and takes it all the way to the house. Shades of Larry Fitzgerald in Super Bowl 43.
CBS makes it to the Steelers second drive before busting out the Big Ben the Player vs Big Ben the clock discussion.
The defense locks it down on Peterson and the Steelers get good starting field position for the first time all season.
Unfortunately, the offense can't do much with it, aside from a screen pass to Bell that looks like an actual NFL team was running it and not a high school team.
The defense steps up again with Ike breaking up a 3rd down pass.
A holding penalty sets things back then Haley craps on himself and calls a draw that goes nowhere on second down and a WR screen on 3rd and 17. AB almost picks it up with sheer athleticism alone, but comes up just short.
You knew sooner or later AP was going to get into the secondary. It happened. He exploded through the line and through an arm tackle and outran Ryan Clark all the way to the end zone.
Down by 10, Ben gets sacked when Jared Allen just abuses Mike Adams. Luckily, Antonio Brown is able to move the chains on a 3rd down slant. AB reels in another one across the middle to get us near midfield. Allen continues his abuse of the left side of the line and rings up another sack on a stunt. Ben steps away from pressure on 3rd and long and hits Heath down the seam. The refs actually throw a flag for a helmet to helmet hit and the Steelers get to move all the way down to the 15. Heath and AB get us to 3rd and 1 and The Prescription picks it up. The Steelers can't cash it in and Ben gets sacked by Allen again on 3rd down. Suisham.
Three sacks by Allen on that drive. Mike Adams had a Jonathan Scott-esque night.
Wheaton makes a touchdown-saving tackle on special teams and the Vikings are set up with good field position. The defense hold the Vikings to a 3rd down and Woodley comes through and knocks the ball out of Cassel's hand but the Steelers can't fall on it after 5 guys dive for it and the Vikings recover ahead of the first down line. Unbelievable. This team is snakebit. Cassel connects on a few passes and work their way into field goal range.
The Steelers take over with 40 seconds and 1 timeout and Haley calls a running play. Total give-up at the end of the first half. That's frustrating.
Ben gets things rolling with a pass to Sanders then Le'Veon makes a few nice jump-cuts to keep moving. Ben goes play-action and hits Cotchery down the seam then goes downtown for AB who gets mauled from behind in the end zone, giving us the ball on the 1. It takes two tries, but The Prescription punches it in.
Cassel hits Simpson across the middle on a dig route and he is able to cut through the middle of the defense for 50 yards to get down to the red zone. AP takes over and picks up a first down then is able to waltz 7 yards untouched for a touchdown. Way too easy for AP.
Markus Wheaton makes an appearance and picks up a first down. Ben gets flushed out and tries to force a throw and it goes right to a Vikings defender. Ugh.
As if giving the Vikings good field position wasn't enough, Woodley delivers a late hit out of bounds and gives the Vikings the ball in the red zone. Cassel goes play-action and hits Jennings in the end zone. Vom.
The Prescription makes some moves on a screen pass but that's all the Steelers can do. Ben gets sacked again on 3rd down. Remember that time we didn't re-sign Max Starks?
Ben starts working the no huddle and hits two passes over the middle to move us out to midfield.
The first play out of the break is a WR screen that loses yards. Brilliant, Haley. The Steelers get the benefit of a 15-yard penalty to move them into Vikings territory. Ben hits Wheaton to move us down to the 15, threading the needle over a Vikings defender. Two plays later, Ben steps up away from pressure and zings one to Cotchery at the goal line for the score.
The Vikings keep moving the ball, picking their way down the field. The Steelers finally make a stop when the Vikings are in field goal range. Blair Walsh with a rare miss.
On the second play, Ben hits Cotch across the middle and he scampers out across midfield. The Prescription picks up 9 more then Ben hits Heath over the middle inside the 15. The Steelers stall out without even an attempt at the end zone. Suisham cuts it to a score.
Rather than trying an onside kick, Tomlin elects to trust the defense. The Vikings have no respect for the Steelers and come out throwing. AP converts a 3rd and 1. The defense is able to come up with a stop after the 2 minute warning and the Steelers get the ball back with 1:45 to play.
Ben hits Cotch on the numbers and he is able to get outside and pick up a block and get into Vikings territory. AB makes a catch over the middle and slips and falls at the 35. Heath and AB make catches to get us to the 20 with a minute to go. After a spike, AB makes a catch at the 13 then another juggling catch with a Hines Ward-esque tip to himself to move the sticks and get us to the 5. After a spike and a throwaway, Ben gets sacked and the ball gets knocked out. The Vikings recover and that's the game.