Steelers tackles against Vikings defensive ends the key matchup

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The key matchup when the Steelers have the ball will be the Vikings' defensive ends vs. Pittsburgh's offensive tackles. Jared Allen and Brian Robison have been shining spots on a playmaking defense.

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is one of the best pass rushers of his generation.

It took Chicago three plays at the start of the game of blocking him with one player before putting two and three on him for the rest of the game. Allen was in the backfield all three of those single-blocked plays.

Former reserve turned starter Brian Robison has taken advantage of the slide protection given to Allen, particularly against the Bears. He was a constant presence in the backfield, helping the Vikings net four takeaways.

Nevermind the 0-3 record the Vikings bring to Wembley Sunday, the explosion they have off the edge is dangerous enough to take over a game. It's the most daunting match-up the young Steelers offensive tackles, LT Mike Adams and RT Marcus Gilbert will have faced this year. Throw in Kelvin Beachum to that group as well, as the Steelers may rotate their tackles again.

In fact, it wouldn't be a shock to see Beachum getting tight end snaps on Allen's side in passing situations.

Adams has been a flawed player much of this season, and Gilbert, despite a few lapses, has been reasonably solid. If the Vikings can't generate pressure off the edge, the Steelers can attack a secondary that's depleted by injuries, and maybe even get their anemic running game moving.

But Allen and Robison aren't going to be easy to contain, and rest assured, the showy Allen will be anxiously await getting a shot at Adams - particularly when a rookie - Le'Veon Bell - looks to get significant snaps even on passing downs.

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