The 2021 regular season is upon us, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the Minnesota Vikings in Week 14. While the Steelers get ready for their latest road game of the season, it is time for the BTSC staff to put on their prognostication hats and guess the winner of the contest.
Who will get closest? We will be keeping tabs, so let’s get the picks. Check out the staff picks below, and even a pick from an enemy guest!
The odds aren’t in the Steelers’ favor when it comes to the road team playing on Thursday Night Football. However, when you look at the other aspects of this game, it feels as if they even out. The Vikings are banged up, coming off a road loss to the Lions and the Steelers escaped their home win vs. the Ravens relatively healthy. The health of the team is huge in these Thursday night games, and I’ll take the Steelers players over the Vikings until I see someone like Dalvin Cook return to the lineup. Until then, I like the Steelers to head into their mini bye week with back-to-back wins.
Pick: Steelers 24, Vikings 20
Teams simply can’t implement their entire game plan on a short week. While many expect more sloppy play for this reason, it doesn’t mean less points as it could be the defenses which might not play up to expectations. For me, give me Ben Roethlisberger taking down a defense ranked toward the bottom the league that only practiced one time this week and may not be able to disguise what they are doing like the may have been able to do had they had a full week of preparation.
Pick: Steelers 31, Vikings 23
Bryan Anthony Davis
If the Steelers are truly on track, they will win this game. However, the Vikings are the Steelers of a week ago... pretty beat up and following an embarrassing divisional loss. I worry about a pretty potent defense as well. I do believe in the Steelers though, but in the end I think the more desperate team prevails.
Pick: Vikings 31, Steelers 27
The Pittsburgh Steelers are making me a believer once again. The performance they put on tape against the Baltimore Ravens was exactly what I needed to see out of them, and on a short week it is certainly a whole lot easier to pick them to win. Road teams tend to struggle on Thursday Night Football but the Vikings are reeling both health wise and coming off a brutal loss to the Detroit Lions. This is the Steelers game to win even if they are the road underdog!
Pick: Steelers 27, Vikings 14
My new rule for picking Steelers’ games is this — unless I’m certain they will lose, I’m picking them to win. It’s going to lead to errors on the side of optimism. But these picks are not legal and binding, so why not?
Minnesota is banged up and reeling. Not having Adam Thielen and Christian Darrisaw will hurt their offense. Pittsburgh is coming off a huge win and may have found much-needed help up front with John Leglue and Montravious Adams. Feels like the Steelers keep it going for another week.
Pick: Steelers 23, Vikings 20
The Steelers are coming off a big win against their biggest rival where they answered some of their biggest questions and seem to have filled two big holes in their lines.
On that nice wave they will crash into an awful reality. Thursday night road games are death traps. The entire NFL is bad on the road on a short week. The Steelers in the Ben Roethlisberger era are 2-6 on the road on Thursday night, and like they ran afoul of the curse of Ben Roethlisberger playing on the west coast in week 11, this Week they will fall to the specter of the Thursday night road game.
Pick: Vikings 19, Steelers 17
Rich Schofield (Big Bro Scho)
The Steelers came back to life a couple of days ago with a win over the Ravens, and now have to turn around on a short week and travel to Minnesota. The Steelers will be without Joe Haden (again), but have finally proven they can win a game without him. The Vikings come into the game a little more banged up than the Steelers and could be missing a couple of key offensive players. Both of the defenses have shown that they can be tough and also get after the quarterback.
The Steelers need to ride the momentum from last weeks win and start to stack a few more if they want any shot at the postseason. It will be a close one because these two teams have been playing close games all year.
Pick: Steelers 24, Vikings 21
Just when I thought I was out, the Steelers done went and pulled me back in. I had resigned myself to the fact that the 2021 NFL season for the Pittsburgh Steelers would not include a playoff appearance. I had been forced to wrap my frustrated mind around that inevitable conclusion after watching a complete lack of urgency and effort against the Cincinnati Bengals. I was simply going to enjoy Ben's closing act as much as humanly possible.
Then the Steelers go and give an inspired total team effort in upsetting the division and conference leading Baltimore Ravens, even as the rare home underdogs. I was most encouraged by the return of the Steelers interior rushing attack, after a two week abscence. The Steelers ability to rush the ball consistently for positive yardage, even three to four yard gains, is the motor that drives their offense. It is imperative that the Steelers limit Roethlisberger's pass attempts, under 35-40 is optimal actually. That keeps the Steelers offensive line aggressive, and limits Ben's exposure to punishment. That is the Steelers formula for success this season. If the Steelers can follow that formula, and combine that with playing solid defense behind it, I think it reasonably to expect continued success. Now the Steelers need to find their stride and start stacking impressive performances.
Pick: Steelers 27, Vikings 24
I finally predicted a game correctly last week, and I am hoping for two in row. Personally, I love Thursday Night Football, partially because Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers tend to play well on short weeks. The Vikings will be without Christian Darrisaw, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, which should give the Steelers' defense the advantage. Minnesota has not lost a game by more than one score this season, so I expect a close game. In the end, however, I think the Steelers will feel the sense of urgency and come away with a big win.
Pick: Steelers 30, Vikings 26
The Steelers strike back, giving fans new hope, continuing the last ride of the gunslinger, with the defense starting to awaken their force-ful potential, having had revenge against the ravens (clearly they’re a phantom menace), and now it’s time for the attack of the Steelers’ rookies: Najee Harris and Pat Freiermuth. The return of the Steelers winning continues following this week’s Thursday night football matchup.
Pick: Steelers 27, Vikings 20
Let’s take a different angle this week with my pick for the Minnesota Viking game. The National Football League Is A Quarterback driven league. So we shall focus on the tale of the tape with Ben Roethlisberger VS Kirk Cousins. I don’t wish to bore you to tears with A long list Of stats comparing the Two QB’s. However there Is One major stat As A fan might give you confidence heading Into Thursday Night Football. Big Ben has a playoff record sitting at 13-9 and Two Super Bowl wins while appearing In a total of Three Super Bowls. Kirk Cousins playoff record In his Ten year NFL career Is a dismal 1-3. This Is not a playoff game but this game has playoff implications for both sides. The Steelers will build momentum from last week’s huge win over the Ravens and will be victorious. I hope “ You Like that!”
Pick: Steelers 36, Vikings,13
Even though the Steelers have mostly been playing in ugly, close football games this year, Thursday night’s game just feels like a win for them. Why do I say that? I really don’t know, other than I just have the feeling.
Pick: Steelers 21, Vikings 7
What is your prediction? Let us know in the comment section below, and feel free to tell the contributors above why they are dead wrong, or spot on!