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With the starters long removed from the game, it’s time to wrap up the first Goalline Gazette live-blog. We weren’t able to gather much from the performances of either team tonight, but that’s not what the HOF Game is for. It’s to remind us that football is just around the corner.
With strong performances from Teddy Bridgewater and Dri Archer, both teams have some laurels to rest on.
Minnesota will play the Oakland Raiders on August 22nd in their 2nd preseason game, while Pittsburgh will next see the field against the Green Bay Packers on August 23rd.
9:19 PM – Another close fourth-and-goal, and another attempt. At least pre-season football is good for SOMETHING. Jesse James, no not THAT Jesse James with a dropped pass that would easily gone for a score. Minnesota takes over with less than a minute until half, still up 7-3.
9:18 PM – Trae Waynes with a big penalty, putting the Steelers on the 3-yard line with a 38-yard pass interference penalty. Those arm grabs might miss the eyes of the college officials, but the big dogs in the NFL are going to call those every time.
9:14 PM – Dri Archer seems to have had the best first half for Pittsburgh, flashing some great speed and decent vision. He’s one of those guys that feels thiiiiiiis close to breaking a big one every time he touches the ball. Two minute warning before halftime, with the Steelers looking to put some more digits on the board before half.
- SCORE ALERT: 7-3 MINNESOTA.
9:06 PM – Less than five minutes until halftime, and we’ve finally got our first big play. Mike Kafka finds MyCole Pruitt for a 34 yd TD. With an 8-play, 81-yard drive that took four minutes off the clock, the Vikings take a 7-3 lead.
9:05 PM – Matt Asiata with a nice 18 yard run. It will be interesting to see how Norv Turner uses Asiata in the offense this year. He seems like he could definitely do some damage to some beat-down defenses in the fourth quarter.
9:02 PM – Patterson with his first catch of the night, off of a screen pass.
- SCORE ALERT: 3-0 PITTSBURGH.
9:00 PM – It took almost an hour, but Pittsburgh has drawn first blood with a Shaun Suisham field goal. With about nine minutes until halftime, Minnesota has more than enough time to answer before halftime.
8:57 PM – Trae Waynes, the Vikings first round pick in April’s draft, gets toasted on a go-route. Pittsburgh is knocking on the door.
8:51 PM – Ryan Shazier with a nice drive for the Pittsburgh defense. This man can MOVE, people. Minnesota punting one away, the game remains scoreless.
8:46 PM – Gotta admit… Shocking we made it all the way until 12:00 remaining in the second quarter before our first mention of the dreaded Deflategate. It was good while it lasted.
8:45 PM – Looks like Blair Walsh will have to button up some loose ends before week one. Pushed a 48-yarder wide right. Still scoreless in Canton.
8:42 PM – RED ALERT: We have our first Cordarelle Patterson sighting of 2015. Incomplete pass, tipped by Brandon Boykin, but there’s no question the dread-headed receiver was the intended target. Patterson has a chance to haunt every fantasy owner this season (again), or maybe we we’re all a year too early calling his breakout.
8:41 PM – Looks like we might have our first turnover of the pre-season, as Pittsburgh puts one on the carpet. Mike Kafka, the former Eagle, will take over under center for Minnesota. Teddy Time hasn’t been this short since, well, ever.
- END OF 1st QUARTER
8:35 PM – After a TO, the black and gold did what Minny couldn’t – convert a 4th-and-1. First quarter will end scoreless.
8:29 PM – Dri Archer hitting some nice holes to pick up a 3rd-and-14 off of a draw play. Remember, Le’Veon Bell will be sitting for the first two games, so these preseason games carry some extra weight for the Pittsburgh backfield. Scampers like that will go a long way to help Archer solidify some footing in that backfield.
8:26 PM – I just wanted to take a moment to send condolences to the Gifford family. The NFL, the Giants organization, and the sport of football itself lost a legend.
8:22 PM – Teddy with the first incompletion of the night, a little bit behind Mike Wallace there. You can believe dude wanted paydirt against PITT. Vikes turn it over on downs, going for it on fourth-and-1. #ItsPreseason
8:19 PM – Bridgewater sensed some good pressure on 2nd and 8, completing a dump pass for some easy yardage. Teddy needs to take some steps forward this year, but his rookie season was about as promising as it can get. Some more of those seven yard scrambles, with the clean slides, and this guy might be a regular Russell Wilson.
8:18 PM EST – Looks like we’ll get a few starters for Minny tonight, with Kyle Rudolph snagging Bridgewater’s first throw. Jerrick McKinnon, a fantasy darling from last year, takes one up the gut.
8:15 PM EST – It’s been so long since we’ve some football that even the referees are a welcome sight. Pittsburgh can’t do much on the opening possesion, but that means it’s… #TEDDYTIME!
8:11 PM EST – Looks like we’ll be seeing Pittsburgh take the ball first. No Big Ben tonight, so we’ll be seeing LOTS of Landry Jones, and as a Sooners fan, I’m A-OK seeing what the young kid’s got.
8:07 PM EST – The companionship of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth rivals that of peanut butter and jelly. It’s just… So perfect. The second I hear the NFL Network announcers for the first time this year, I will be reminded of this very fact.
8:04 PM EST – Hello! This should be a fun experience for all of us, with our first live blog, covering the HOF game! Let’s get the inductee’s out here, and kick this thing off!
It seems like virtually forever since live, NFL football graced our television screens. Well gather, my children of the desert, and drink from the pool that is… LIVE. NFL. ACTION.
Okay, okay, it is just the Hall of Fame game, but at this point, it’s a beacon of things to come, and another benchmark met on our way to what we all truly long for: week one of the 2015-2016 NFL season.
The Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers will kick off the action tonight, at Tom Benson Stadium, in picturesque Canton, OH at 8 p.m. on NBC. I’ll be right here, to update the action as it happens, with some Twitter chatter, some NFL talk, and hopefully a few big plays that can get us even more antsy for September.
Ya know, if that’s even possible.
But first, here are a few things to keep in mind before kick-off.
Pre Game Notes
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin has let it out that almost anyone who could possibly do something exciting, wouldn’t be playing. Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, Heath Miller and Antonio Brown will all hang out with the towel boys, and James Harrison will let the rest of the Pittsburgh defense take care of the Vikes, as he too will sit this one out.
Thankfully, this leaves second year wideout Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant to duke it out to see who might hold some fantasy football relevance going forward. Or, it would’ve, if Bryant wasn’t iffy too. Yeesh.
Ok, so, Landry Jones to Markus Wheaton all night? Could be worse, I suppose.`
On the Vikings side of the field, a lot less is known. Coach Mike Zimmer has yet to specify which of his starters will be playing, or how long they’ll see the field this evening. Well, Coach, thanks for the insight.
Regardless of Zimmer’s espionage attempt, I expect second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to see at least a drive, with his new weapon, and former Steeler, Mike Wallace in tow.
As for Adrian Peterson, don’t expect the polarizing running back to see the field tonight. Peterson hasn’t taken a preseason snap since 2010.