Steelers vs. Vikings final score: Minnesota paced by five sacks in 34-27 win over Pittsburgh

Jamie McDonald

The Steelers fall to 0-4 on the season, their worst start in five decades.

There was little Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could do.

After big completions to Jerricho Cotchery, Markus Wheaton and Antonio Brown, the Steelers sat inside the Minnesota Vikings' 10-yard line with 20 seconds left in the game. After a spike to stop the clock, he faced second down.

CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz ominously said "the Steelers will throw it into the end zone three times."

It ended up being nowhere near that prediction.

Roethlisberger managed to release one pass intentionally out of the back of the end zone because Steelers left tackle Mike Adams somehow did not realize Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was his to block on the play.

Allen - who ended up with 2.5 sacks on the game - got his third recorded pressure on the play, forcing Roethlisberger to throw it out of the back of the end zone. Allen and the rest of his Vikings defensive front seven buddies crashed hard on Roethlisberger on the next play, forcing another sack and a fumble, preserving the Vikings' 34-27 victory.

The Steelers fell collectively harder than Roethlisberger did on the final play, hitting the lowest start the franchise has seen since 1968.

Not even the Steelers - a team much maligned for their age and lack of explosion on defense - were alive to have seen that.

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