Steelers vs. Vikings 2013 game preview: A battle of winless teams


London is going to get quite the treat.

This weekend, London will be treated to an NFL game between two of the worst teams in the league. Either the Steelers or Vikings have to win this game, as hard as that may be to believe at this point.

Hopefully the folks in England enjoy bad football, because the Vikings and Steelers are sure to provide plenty of that on Sunday.

Meet the Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in total disarray through three games. Even after a late comeback on Sunday night, the Steelers still fell to 0-3 and haven't looked good doing it. Ben Roethlisberger hasn't had a ton of time to throw and hasn't been great regardless. Pittsburgh's running game, meanwhile, has been non-existent, though Le'Veon Bell will be returning from injury soon, which should spice things up.

Defensively, the Steelers aren't playing all that poorly.

Meet the Vikings

Christian Ponder and the Vikings are struggling. They have lost three straight games to open the season after making the playoffs a year ago. Ponder won't play in Week 4, though, after suffering a rib injury in Week 3. Matt Cassel will start in his place on Sunday, which doesn't inspire much confidence.

The Vikings' secondary, meanwhile, has been a complete mess through three games. The Steelers don't present a huge threat as an offense, but it doesn't take much to carve Minnesota up through the air.

Local Takes: Steelers

The folks at Behind the Steel Curtain were excited to hear about Cassel starting for the Vikings. Here's why:

In three games, Cassel has thrown for 571 yards on 45-of-95 passing (47.3 percent) with two touchdowns and three interceptions. His passer rating in those three games - one win and two losses - is 60.5, or, lower than the career completion percentage of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Local Takes: Vikings

Over at Daily Norseman, they think Cassel could be the last hope the Vikings' coaches have of keeping their jobs.

But at 0-3, if Matt Cassel plays well and the Vikings win, the temporary change could be a more permanent one. Of course, if Cassel performs as poorly as the rest of the team, it could also lead to a major house cleaning, and no one will be back come this time next year, from the coaching staff on down.

Follow the Fun

Be sure to check out SB Nation's team blogs, Behind the Steel Curtain and Daily Norseman, for more analysis and highlights from the game.

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From the Week 4 picks:

I bet the suits inside 345 Park Ave. are pleased to hear players talking about the NFL playing in London. Even Terry Bradshaw understands how ridiculous it is. But what about the pot o' gold Roger Goodell sees across the pond? Keep giving fans there games with the Rams (in 2012), the Jaguars and this battle of 0-4 teams, and that should eventually take care of the NFL's UK expansion plans.

The pick: Vikings


The Steelers are favored by 2.5 points, according to Odds Shark.

Next Week

The Vikings and Steelers both have bye weeks after traveling all the way to England for Sunday's game.

More from SB Nation NFL:

Bois: Let's bring Brian Hoyer down a peg | Breaking Madden

Week 4 picks: Can the Chiefs, Bears stay perfect? | Picks against the spread

Chilton: Are NFL ground games grounded?

The Notebook: Trouble with Chip's system

NFL power rankings: Only 7 undefeated teams left

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