5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Pittsburgh Steelers – Week 14

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Justin Jefferson /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) T.J. Watt /

Pittsburgh will get sack Cousins five times

Last week, the Vikings went into overdrive before the game even began. With Christian Darrisaw out with a bad ankle, Mike Zimmer and his staff decided to change three positions rather than just slide Rashod Hill into Darrisaw’s spot.

The results weren’t as bad as you would think, with Kirk Cousins pressured on just 26.5 percent of his dropbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. But it wasn’t a long-term solution either.

Oli Udoh was the star of this gong show, allowing four pressures in the loss to Detroit. Only Ezra Cleveland had more, and some of his pressures could have been caused by Udoh’s struggles. Mix in a couple of false starts on Udoh and you have a mess on your hands.

With Darrisaw out against the Steelers, things could get ugly. T.J. Watt is tied for fourth among qualifying edge defenders with a 10.5 pass rusher efficiency rating and Cameron Hayward is fourth among interior defensive linemen with 43 pressures on the season.

While Garrett Bradbury, Mason Cole, and Brian O’Neill were fine, the gaping hole on the left side could be a big problem, resulting in Cousins winding up on his back.