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Grading the Steelers-Vikings matchup

| Monday, Oct. 26, 2009

The Tribune-Review takes a position-by-position look at the Steelers-Vikings matchup at Heinz Field:

Steelers — Position — Vikings

B- — Quarterback — B-

The battle of the gunslingers might have turned out differently had Chester Taylor held on to an ill-fated screen pass. Favre's fumble was a killer, too.

C — Running back — C

Rashard Mendenhall and Adrian Peterson each rushed for 69 yards, though Mendenhall fumbled and Peterson added 60 yards as a receiver. But about Taylor's bobble ...

B — Wide receiver — A

Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice are as explosive as any duo in the NFL. Hines Ward (one catch, 3 yards) was awfully quiet for the Steelers.

C — Tight end — C

Heath Miller was called for an offensive pass-interference penalty that wiped out a touchdown, but he led the club with six receptions.

B — Offensive line — C-

The statistician must have lost count of all the false-start penalties on the Vikings. The holding call on tackle Bryant McKinnie, against James Harrison, was a game-changer.

A- — Defensive line — B

Travis Kirschke held up nicely until he was injured. Max Starks did a bang-up job on Jared Allen (two tackles, no sacks).

A+ — Linebackers — B

Keyaron Fox and LaMarr Woodley outscored the Steelers' offense, so that's a pretty good day. James Farrior (15 tackles and a sack) was phenomenal.

C- — Secondary — C

Ike Taylor had a mighty rough day, and the Vikings made a critical error in allowing Mike Wallace to slip free for a 40-yard TD at the end of the first half.

D- — Special teams — B

The Steelers kick coverage suddenly stinks again, allowing a return TD for the second consecutive week. Still waiting for Stefan Logan to break one, too.

B — Coaching — D

The Vikings' decision to ignore Adrian Peterson at the goal line on second and third downs was borderline criminal. Dick LeBeau's group outscored the Vikings' offense, 14-10, and held Peterson to 3.8 yards a carry.

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