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The Steelers will get a takeaway against the Vikings

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It doesn't seem like much of a statement for most teams, but ones that haven't had a takeaway in 202 defensive snaps, it's big.

Justin K. Aller

The Steelers' last takeaway came on their final defensive play of the 2012 season. Lawrence Timmons hit Browns back-up quarterback Josh Johnson, popping the ball loose and into the waiting arms of defensive end Ziggy Hood.

It was Timmons' second sack on consecutive plays.

Timmons also forced the last two turnovers Matt Cassel has made against the Steelers. Timmons sacked Cassel, jarring the ball loose in the fourth quarter of the Chiefs' win over Pittsburgh in 2009. He picked Cassel off in overtime last year, leading to Shaun Suisham's game-winning field goal.

An odd stat, the Steelers have gone 202 defensive plays without forcing a turnover this year. In fact, the Steelers have had 35 takeaways in their last 35 regular season games, dating back to 2011.

In the 16-game regular season of 2010, the Steelers had 35 takeaways.

Do the math. Clearly, based on advanced statistical measurements, Lawrence Timmons will force 35 turnovers of Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel.

Quick, find a sports book that will take that bet.

The point being, the Steelers have been given a gift in their Week 4 matchup against the Vikings. Timmons has abused Cassel in his career, and he's the last Steeler to have forced a turnover. Based on recent history, Timmons - as well as the rest of the Steelers defense - has great odds of notching their first takeaway of the 2013 season.

No one will argue the Steelers played an outstanding game against Chicago in Week 3. The Vikings played the same Bears team in Week 2, and battled them down to the wire when Jay Cutler led Chicago on a game-winning drive at the end of regulation.

Was the main difference in the Vikings being competitive and the Steelers losing 40-24 because the Vikings are clearly the better team? No.

It seems much more likely the Vikings were more competitive in the game because they forced four turnovers. The Steelers didn't force any.

The dam will break Sunday. Whether it's Timmons or someone else, the Steelers will take the ball away from the Minnesota Vikings. It'll be a good thing, too, because if they don't, they'll lose.

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