Four Downs: Bradford-less Vikings stymied in 26-9 loss - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Four Downs: Bradford-less Vikings stymied in 26-9 loss


The Minnesota Vikings without starting quarterback and reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Week Sam Bradford, were unable to do anything on offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they lost in Pittsburgh, 26-9.

1st Down: Offensively, the Vikings protected Case Keenum fairly well, allowing only two sacks, but this career backup could muster only 4.5 yards per attempt, as he went 20/37 for only 167 yards without a touchdown pass. Conversely, Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who both had huge impacts in week one, only had seven receptions for 71 yards.

2nd Down: On the ground, the Vikings, down from the get-go were forced to pass, leading to only 20 carries on the day. However, Dalvin Cook on only 12 carries still ran for 64 yards, and nearly scored a touchdown, however it was called back  as his knee was down before the ball crossed the goal line. Cook averaged 5.3 yards per carry.

3rd Down: Defensively, the Vikings did a fairly good job of containing Le'Veon Bell who on 27 carries rushed for 87 yards, only 3.2 yards per carry, but overall they allowed 102 yards on the ground, and in the air, allowed 243, including a long 27 yard touchdown reception by Martavis Bryant, and then a four yard touchdown off of a shovel pass to rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, his first career touchdown, that put the Steelers up 14-0. 

4th Down: A lone bright spot in this one, Rochester native and John Marshall high school graduate Marcus Sherels entered Sunday's game only two punt return yards away from breaking the Vikings career punt return record, and Sherels broke that record in the second quarter, as he returned a punt twelve yards to set the career record with 1,822 career punt return yards. Also of note, Everson Griffin recorded two sacks on the day.

The Vikings at 1-1 will enter Week Three in either a three-way tie for first place of a two-way tie for second with the Green Bay Packers, depending on the outcome of the Detroit Lions game Monday Night. In week three, the Vikings are at home against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with kickoff at noon.

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