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What You Can Expect At This Year’s NFL Hall of Fame Game

The 2015 NFL preseason starts on Sunday, when the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL Hall of Fame game. Both teams have been itching to get back on the field, after the disappointing end to their 2014 campaign. The Vikings finished the year 7-9, and played most of the season without Adrian Peterson, while the Steelers won the AFC North, but fell to their rivals, the Baltimore Ravens in the Wildcard round of the playoffs.

This season, expectations are high on both sides, and we will get a little glimpse of what to expect from both teams this year. Let’s take a closer look at what these franchises might offer this Sunday. 

One of the biggest question marks going into this season is how wide receiver Mike Wallace will perform with his new team. The former Pittsburgh Steeler signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent prior to the 2013 season, but he was unable to achieve the same level of success he had in Pittsburgh. After two unimpressive seasons in Miami, which included a few attitude problems, the Vikings took a chance on him, and are hoping he can regain the form he had when he helped the Steelers make it to the Super Bowl in 2011.

On a team with proven veterans like Adrian Peterson, Wallace will likely fall in line, and try to redeem himself, and with a good quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater, he should be able to get a lot of touches, and go for over a thousand receiving yards this season. We will get our first look at him in a Minnesota jersey on Sunday, and we will see if he has developed some chemistry with Bridgewater. If he has, he automatically makes the Vikings a very dangerous offense, because he is a legitimate deep threat that can blow a game wide open. Wallace being successful in Minnesota will help out Cordarrelle Patterson, who had a disappointing second season as a pro, but will get more chances to make plays if the opposing defenses decide to double team Wallace.

If the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is still as bad as it was last season, don’t be surprised to see Wallace exploit the situation with a big game. The Steelers lost some talent in their secondary during the offseason, and replaced them with rookies, and they might not be ready for a player as good as Wallace is. Since the Steelers are also his former team, he will have some extra incentive to stick it to them, even if it is just a preseason game, which should prove for an exciting performance and plenty of highlights for us die-hard football fans. 

Although these types of games might be only for show, team pride is always at stake and it gives head coaches a shot to take the rust off the players. In any case, I’m just happy that football is back and be able to hang out and watch the game. 

Prediction: The Vikings offense should be able to exploit Pittsburgh’s defense, and get the win.