As the current second seed in the NFC, the Minnesota Vikings look to continue their win streak against the Arizona Cardinals. The bye last week should allow Minnesota to reevaluate the offense that struggled against Miami, but the Cardinals are hot after their Thursday night win and the return of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.
After giving up a long touchdown early last week, the Cardinals defense bounced back in incredible fashion, recording two touchdowns in the first half and completely shifting the momentum of the game. Arizona’s consistent blitzing and disguises make it extremely difficult for opposing quarterbacks, and having talented pass rushers like JJ Watt certainly doesn’t help either. Offensively, DeAndre Hopkins has shown once again why he should be regarded as one of the top receivers in the league after catching ten passes for over 100 yards. While the injured offensive line may make things difficult, he and Kyler Murray’s connection has the power to dominate this matchup against a weaker Vikings secondary.
Luckily for Minnesota, the defense just had its best performance since week one, holding Miami to only sixteen points. Patrick Peterson has shown flashes of his youth, recording an interception two weeks ago and looking to be utilized as more of a press-man corner against the Cardinals. Offensively, however, the Vikings have been having far less success than earlier in the season, going 3-and-out on ten of their fifteen drives in Miami. While adjustments during the bye week should help reduce mistakes, such failures continuing will make it difficult to win against any team.
Though the Vikings defense has been steadily improving, the Cardinals’ deep wide receiver room and the mobility of Murray will make Arizona very difficult to stop. Additionally, a stalling offense on the opposite side of the ball could prevent the Vikings from being able to keep up throughout the game. While changes on offense could allow the Vikings to win this one at home, by the way the Cardinals have been playing recently, they will defeat the Vikings 28-17.