The Steelers and Vikings officially kick off the 2015 NFL season, or preseason if you will, tonight in Canton, Ohio. We’ve already been told that the Steelers will not be playing many of their star players and that’s fine by me.
When: 8pm ET
Where: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium
TV/Radio: NBC- Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth… Steelers Nation Radio, WDVE Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin, Craig Wolfley… You can hear me call the game on rabble.tv.
Go to rabble.tv and find my broadcast. I guarantee you’ll laugh at the very least.
The Steelers all-time preseason record is 120-106-1.
This is the sixth time the Steelers have played in the Hall of Fame Game. Previous results:
1963 Steelers 16 Browns 7
1964 Baltimore Colts 48 Steelers 16
1983 Steelers 28 Saints 13
1998 Buccaneers 30 Steelers 6
2007 Steelers 20 Saints 7
Last time the Vikings and Steelers met was in the 2013 regular season in London, England. Minnesota won 34-27.
In 2006, Mike Tomlin was the defensive coordinator for the Vikings.
What to Watch For: To put it simply, the young guys. Tonight is a great opportunity to not only watch the rookies in their first game action as well as players like Jarvis Jones, Landry Jones and Dri Archer who all need to start proving themselves.
While it’s just the ‘preseason,’ the Steelers have been pretty awful in it the last couple of years. Mike Tomlin and the rest of the team will always tell you the preseason record doesn’t matter and I agree. The only exception is for the rookies.
I think it’s important to know what it’s like to win at the NFL level regardless of whether it’s a preseason game or not. As always, the number one goal for any team in the preseason is to come out of it healthy. It’s much easier said than done, but that is far and away the most important thing for any coach.
That said, I think getting at least one victory is nice too. Although I don’t really think tonight will be one where a team ‘plays to win’ with so many vets not playing.
photo courtesy wtae.com