Cardinals visit Vikings in pivotal matchup of NFC contenders

Cardinals visit Vikings in pivotal matchup of NFC contenders

Blake Casey
November 20, 2016

Humphries hold up to both the rush and the noise will be key to the game. Arizona owns the league's second-ranked defense in terms of yardage, one spot ahead of Minnesota. Certainly the Minnesota offense has been downright putrid for much of this four-game losing streak but it's important to consider the philosophical clash that was occurring within the coaching staff. The Cardinals have allowed the fewest yards per play in the NFL.

The Cardinals and Vikings were expected to be among the top teams in the NFC, with Super Bowl aspirations and talented rosters coming off last year's playoff appearances. With a decimated line, then offensive coordinator Norv Turner appeared to revert to play calling that had Sam Bradford routinely taking five or seven step drops. Quarterback Carson Palmer will have to be careful with the ball in order to keep his team in it. CB Captain Munnerlyn, who missed last week's game with an ankle injury, practiced in full on Friday and expressed optimism that he'll return to the line. After being limited to just a single reception in Week 9, Rudolph was a much bigger part of the game plan in Washington last week. The Vikings will need that kind of production from him. In a timing league, when the Vikings' paper-thin protection was further exposed, that timing was massively disrupted and the Vikings' lousy run game has done nothing to mitigate the problem.

This matchup could go a long way in figuring out who's going to be playing football in January and who will be watching from the couch. "We just got beat up and worn down".

"When we won our first six games in 2003, we were probably a little more confident than we should have been", Russell said. These shorter dropbacks are usually targets on plays like slants and crossing routes which lets the Vikings' highly athletic wide receivers do what they do best: get yards after the catch.

Like Bruce Arians, Zimmer was picked over hundreds of times before his opportunity came to become a head coach. Asked what he would do about a player who is performing like Diggs has, Arians quickly replied: "Put Patrick Peterson on him". You know they do a good job of rushing the quarterback.They're great in coverage, as well. The Cardinals field one of the best secondaries in the National Football League, which doesn't bode well for Sam Bradford and Stefon Diggs. "That's something that guys really respect, I know". "It's going to be fun to watch". Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said Floyd has left the team to rehab elsewhere for the second time in a month. Week 7's game against the Eagles was the first time the Vikings' defense had allowed 20 points or more since they played the Cardinals previous year in Week 14.

Record warmth possible in Madison, but cold and snow showers moving in
No precipitation (rain and melted snow) fell at the airport, keeping the November total at 0.25 inches, 1.04 inches below normal. A west northwest wind will be 16 to 21 miles per hour , with gusts as high as 32 miles per hour .

Besides, Fitzgerald has big enough reasons to want to get this one aside from his 0-4 record against the Vikings in Minnesota (The Fitz-era Cardinals are 2-1 against the Vikings in Arizona.) It's not the fact the franchise hasn't won there since a 1977 game, with an eight-game losing streak.

Bradford was sacked once, by Frostee Rucker, who had the only sack of the game for either team.

The only Minnesota player listed as out for Sunday is defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd, but he hasn't played since the September 11 opener because of a knee injury. Arizona is tied for third, giving up 17.8 points per game. And with Clemmings returning to line up on the left side, that could be an enormous advantage for Arizona.

The Dolphins are top 10 in our power rankings for the first time all season after winning four straight games. The Vikings will also be breaking in a new kicker, Kai Forbath, after releasing Blair Walsh. And they should do just that.