Aug 12, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le

Five Facts About The Vikings vs Steelers Game


Sep 28, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) flanked by quarterback Christian Ponder (7) at the NFL on Regent Street block party in advance of the NFL International Series game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 28, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) flanked by quarterback Christian Ponder (7) at the NFL on Regent Street block party in advance of the NFL International Series game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This week, the NFL’s 2013 International Series kicks off in London, England with the Minnesota Vikings taking on the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Here are some things to know going into this game:

  1. Feb 1, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants former quarterback Phil Simms presents the Fed Ex Air and Ground players of the year awards during a press conference prior to Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Feb 1, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; New York Giants former quarterback Phil Simms presents the Fed Ex Air and Ground players of the year awards during a press conference prior to Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    The Game will be called by Phil Simms and Jim Nantz.  CBS Sports will handle the presentation of this game.  Phil Simms is a former two-time Super Bowl champion and one-time Super Bowl MVP.  Nantz has worked for CBS since 1985 after getting a Broadcasting degree from the University of Houston in Texas.  This is a very experienced unit and should be entertaining to hear during the contest.

  2. Nov 18, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; NFL referee Clete Blakeman (34) calls a penalty during a game between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 18, 2012; Houston, TX, USA; NFL referee Clete Blakeman (34) calls a penalty during a game between the Houston Texans and Jacksonville Jaguars in the second quarter at Reliant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

    Clete Blakeman will serve as the head referee in the game.  Last week, the Vikings found themselves on the bad end of a 15 yard penalty that shouldn’t have been called.  This week, Blakeman will look handle things better.  Blakeman is  a former University of Nebraska quarterback who went on to ref games for the NCAA before moving on to the NFL.  Blakeman also works as an attorney in Omaha, Nebraska.

  3. Sep 28, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings fan Syd Davy aka 100 percent Cheese-Free poses at the NFL on Regent Street block party in advance of the NFL International Series game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Vikings. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    This is a MUST WIN game for both teams.  History is against both of these teams making the playoffs.  In the last 35 years, only 4% of teams that have started 0-3 have made the postseason.  And since then, only one team has made the playoffs after starting 0-4 (San Diego Chargers, 1992).  Both teams have a lot of talent, but need to get it together as soon as possible to have a chance at saving their season.

  4. Aug 25, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) reacts after a penalty against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Vikings 34-14. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

    Matt Cassel’s first start as Minnesota’s quarterback.  With normal starter Christian Ponder out because of a fractured rib, his backup will get a chance to lead the team for the first time on Sunday.  Vikings fans have been chanting for Cassel for quite a while now, and they should be excited to see if the team’s offense can flourish with a new signal caller.

  5. Le’Veon Bell makes his Steelers regular season debut.  The Steelers rushing offense has been struggling.  They are averaging 51.7 yards rushing per game, which is good for 30th in the NFL.  The good news for the Steelers is that they will get rookie running back Le’Veon Bell back from an injury (foot sprain) that he suffered during the preseason.  Bell was the Steelers’ second round draft pick out of Michigan State in this year’s draft.

You can catch the live action of the Vikings vs Steelers game from London, England on CBS at noon Central Time on Sunday.

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Tags: Christian Ponder Le'Veon Bell Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings