Both of the teams the NFL sent to London are bad. But only the Steelers are returning home winless.
The Vikings, led by backup quarterback Matt Cassel, jumped out to an early lead and managed to hold on and win 34-27. Minnesota’s defense sealed the win with a sack of Ben Roethlisberger in the red zone with eight seconds remaining, after Pittsburgh’s offense had marched down the field and appeared poised to send the game into overtime.
(That game-sealing sack of Roethlisberger was not a horse-collar tackle because hits on quarterbacks in the pocket are exempt from horse-collar rules — an exemption the Steelers tried unsuccessfully to have removed.)
The win was Minnesota’s first of the season, improving their record to 1-3. Pittsburgh falls to 0-4.
For the Vikings, the big story going forward will be whether they have a new starting quarterback. Cassel only started today because Ponder was hurt, but Ponder may have played well enough to keep the job even if Ponder is healthy.
For the Steelers, the big story going forward is whether this team is capable of doing anything. The Steelers look like one of the worst teams in the NFL.