From time to time, different blogs get together before their teams face off and write a little bit of a primer for each others' fans. This week, the Steelers will travel to London, England to play the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL's annual overseas showcase. They probably didn't plan for two 0-3 teams who might honestly be trying to lose and get draft position at this point, but what are you gonna do?
Bloguin's Vikings representative, Purple Jesus Diaries, got in touch with me this week and we each did a little bit of a Q&A for each other. Without further ado, here's your primer on the purple people from up north.
1. Both of our teams are 0-3. What singular issue do you think is most responsible for the Vikings' current losing streak?
Oh god, I can only pick one? This is so hard, I hate so many things about our team. I guess I'd have to say our defense as a whole, and if forced, really nail it down to our defensive backfield. It's been two straight weeks where we haven't been able to stop anyone from throwing into the endzone, especially in the last two minutes of the game. Of course, the DBs always look bad when the defensive line isn't getting pressure on a 3rd string QB, so maybe that's unfair, but we call it like we see it.
2. Christian Ponder was a surprising draft pick a few years ago. Does he have an NFL starter in him, or are the Vikings going to look for a new plan at quarterback in the near future?
No, the only thing he has in him is pastries from the coaches offices, and probably some illegal naked pictures of the head coach, because there is no other reason I can think of why he should still be starting. He is an awful, awful, quarterback, and barely deserves a 2nd string spot in the future. We're three games into this year and already the Purple Jesus Diaries blog is leading the #Tank4Teddy campaign.
3. As a fan of a team with little-to-no offensive line, how much do you think Adrian Petersen creates for himself as opposed to reaping what his blockers sew? Could another back find anywhere near similar success on that team?
No, our offensive line has been a surprising low point this year. They finished 2012 strong by getting Peterson his 2,000 yards on the season, and brought everyone back this year. So fans figured why not more of the same? LT Matt Kalil has slumped though, and even star center John Sullivan has had trouble. Peterson has struggled much this year, but I doubt ANY back could have success behind our offensive line at this point.
4. Who is the Vikings' unsung hero; the best player that nobody knows about?
Uhhhhhh …. Probably our kicker, Blair Walsh. He's the only consistent player on the team that doesn't have to rely on a ton of other people to do his job well, just new place holder/punter Jeff Locke. Also, Walsh is probably responsible for at least half of the season's total points for us so far, so that alone is deserving of team MVP status.
ed. note: Not this Jeff Locke
5. A stoppable force is about to meet a movable object in London. What will be the factor that gives one of these teams their first win of the season?
Experience. I fully expect the Steelers to win, even though they are apparently equally old and terrible this year. But Big Ben is going to see our horrible defense and remember what it's like to be a good quarterback. Mike Tomlin is probably licking his chops right now, feeling like the genius he is, and I'd guess the Steelers defense will get a nice boost of confidence playing against the best 25 year old high school quarterback. It's OK though, we need the high draft pick more than you guys do.
If Steeler fans are just starting to get pessimistic and looking towards the draft, we've got some ground to cover. It's standard operating procedure for a handful of other teams in the NFL, and the only bigger question than who will win on Sunday is who might not actually want to.