Thursday Night Football 12.9.21

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Minnesota Vikings

Odds: Minnesota -3, over/under 43.5

Weather: Dome conditions

The 6-5-1 Pittsburgh Steelers will go on the road this week face the 5-7 Minnesota Vikings. Pittsburgh is coming off a 20-19 victory over their hated divisional rival Baltimore Ravens, while Minnesota lost a last second heart-breaker 29-27 to the winless Detroit Lions.

Aging quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leads the Pittsburgh offense, who is averaging 251.1 yards passing per game with 16 touchdowns and 6 interceptions. Wide receiver Diontae Johnson is far and away Roethlisberger’s favorite weapon. Johnson has hauled 76 of 120 targets for 914 yards and six touchdowns. Chase Claypool is second on the team in receiving yards with 660, but only has 39 receptions and one touchdown. Tight end Pat Freiermuth has emerged as a reliable option, especially in the redzone. Freiermuth has 43 receptions for 353 yards and six touchdowns.

Rookie running back Najee Harris has been a major part of the offense, both rushing and receiving. Harris has 779 yards on 217 carries with five touchdowns and another 57 receptions for 387 yards and two touchdowns. Harris has the second most receptions on the team.

Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins will be looking to put a halt to their current two game losing streak. Cousins is averaging 285.7 yards passing per game with 25 touchdowns and three interceptions. Second year wide receiver Justin Jefferson is having a monster season with 78 receptions for 1209 yards and seven touchdowns. Wide receiver Adam Thielen is out with an injury so wide receiver K.J. Osborn and tight end Tyler Conklin will be needed to fill the void. Osborn has 35 receptions for 412 yards and three touchdowns, while Conklin has 47 receptions for 469 yards and three touchdowns.

Dalvin Cook is questionable with a shoulder injury that forced him to miss last week’s loss to the Detroit Lions. In nine games, Cook has rushed for 773 yards with four touchdowns and caught another 27 passes for 202 yards. In Cook’s absence, Alexander Mattison rushed for 90 yards on 22 carries with a touchdown and added another three receptions for 34 yards. Mattison has rushed for 405 yards this season.


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