Matchups favor the Arizona Cardinals in Minnesota

The Arizona Cardinals have been inconsistent this season but a showdown with the Minnesota Vikings could produce a victory

A few weeks back, an Arizona Cardinals road game against the Minnesota Vikings would’ve looked like a dicey proposition. In simple terms, the Vikes were hot and the Cards were not. No

w, weeks later, the task doesn’t appear to be as ominous for Arizona.

Minnesota stormed out to a 5-0 start, but have lost four straight since. Arizona’s record after four games was 1-3, and a playoff appearance appeared to be miles away. They’ve since fought their way back to a 4-4-1 mark, but haven’t been real impressive in doing so.

Both teams boast stout defenses. The Vikings got good news when it was announced that concussed cornerback Xavier Rhodes will play. Another of their corners, Captain Munnerlyn, is optimistic about playing but isn’t definite.

The Cardinals are hopeful that defensive back Tyrann Mathieu will return on Sunday. But on Friday, Bruce Arians indicated that he’d be a game-time decision. If the “Honey Badger ” does see action, his assignment will be covering either Stefon Diggs or Kyle Rudolph.

On offense, Minnesota has failed to impress lately. Quarterback Sam Bradford has put up decent numbers but has failed to get a victory in four games. Their running game has been virtually non-existent since the loss of future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson.

The Arizona offense ran the ball effectively through the first seven games, but has struggled in the last two. David Johnson is on the verge of stardom, but injuries to the offensive line have had an effect. The passing game, led by Carson Palmer, and a now healthy receiving corps has been starting to click.

When all is said and done, the Cards have a big advantage at the offensive skill positions. Minnesota just doesn’t have the playmakers. That should be the difference on Sunday.

Neither squad will light up the scoreboard. But Arizona’s offensive stars will shine just a little more. Cardinals 20, Vikings 16.

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