Week 7: Minnesota Vikings Vs. Arizona Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings
Oakland Raiders v Arizona Cardinals
Winner The Vikings were getting stellar play from Christian Ponder earlier in the season, but he is now starting to toss interceptions and make mistakes with regularity. Ponder can’t afford to throw the ball into double coverage against the active Arizona defense. If he can get back to managing the game, he should be fine in this game.
Kevin Kolb was forced out of the 19-16 overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter when he got crushed by the pass rush and he will not be at his best if he is able to play. Kolb has some mobility when he lines up under center, something backup quarterback John Skelton does not have. Neither quarterback is an asset for head coach Ken Whisenhunt, but Kolb appears to be the lesser of two evils.
Winner The Vikings will stick the ball in Adrian Peterson’s midsection as often as they can to punish the Arizona defense. Peterson is probably the strongest running back in the league and he initiates contact and pushes the pile as well as any back in the league. Percy Harvin is one of the most dangerous players in the league. He knows how to get open and make big plays at key moments.
The Cardinals do not have a great running game, but they need to take the pressure off of their quarterbacks who are getting harassed continuously. William Powell rushed for 70 yards against the Bills while LaRod Stephens-Howling can also be productive. If the Cardinals can protect the quarterback, Larry Fitzgerald is a game-changer and one of the best receivers in the league.
The Vikings defense seemed to run out of gas in the late going against the Redskins and gave up a 76-yard TD run to Washington QB Robert Griffin III. The Vikings are solid tacklers, but if they are going to dominate on defense they need to see defensive end Jared Allen use his quickness to sack the quarterback.
Winner The Cardinals have to rely on their defense if they are going to keep their heads above water while getting substandard quarterback play. Linebacker Daryl Washington is coming off a 14-tackle effort against the Bills. Defensive back Patrick Peterson is capable of shutting down the most athletic receivers. Defensive end Calais Campbell uses his speed and long arms to upset opposing quarterbacks and force mistakes.
Special Teams
Winner Percy Harvin is as dangerous a return man as he is a receiver. The Vikings had a punt and a kickoff return for a touchdown in the same game against the Detroit Lions earlier this season. Blair Walsh was 4-of-4 on field goal attempts against the Redskins.
The Cardinals needed a sensational effort from placekicker Jay Feely and they got it when he hit a 61-yard field goal to tie the score late in the fourth quarter against Buffalo. However, when he had a chance to win the game with a much shorter kick at the end of regulation, Feely clanked his kick off the uprights.

The Winner Is

Jacksonville Jaguars v Minnesota Vikings
Winner Vikings
3 out of 4

The Vikings have been one of the more surprising teams in the league in the early going and much of that is because they have been able to keep mistakes to a minimum and making the most of their opportunities. After falling short against the Redskins last week, look for a top effort from Minnesota against a Cardinal team that has lost its consistency.


  1. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 9: Quarterback Brock Osweiler #17 of the Houston Texans drops back to pass during the first quarter of the game on October 9, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) SAN DIEGO, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos warms up before the game against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 13, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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  2. SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 16:  Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes against the Atlanta Falcons at CenturyLink Field on October 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 17:  Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to make a pass against the New York Jets in the first half of the NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 17, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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  3. FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots prepares to receive a snap during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Quarterback  Landry Jones #3 of the Pittsburgh Steelers throws a pass during warm ups before playing against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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