Arizona (4-4-1) will be coming off a lackluster victory against the San Francisco 49ers last week. Despite their bad start, the Cardinals still find themselves very much alive for a wild card spot and a glimpse of hope to win the division.
Minnesota (5-4) has lost four straight after starting the season 5-0. With the Detroit Lions heating up at the right time and Green Bay still in it for the division, a Minnesota loss would shake things up in the NFC North. Minnesota will control their own playoff destiny.
The Cardinals injury report features plenty of big names. Corey Peters will be doubtful with a foot injury. Deone Bucannon, Tyrann Mathieu, Tharold Simon are listed as questionable. All three did see time at practice this week but in limited capacity. Seven players will be active including Justin Bethel, Larry Fitzgerald and Alex Okafor.
For the Vikings their injury report includes impact players on the defensive front. Sharrif Floyd will be out with a knee injury. That is a significant loss for their defensive front. Eric Kendricks, Captain Munnerlyn, and Marcus Sherels are listed as questionable, Sherels participated in practiced fully all week, with Kendricks and Munnerlyn participating in practice fully on Friday. The Vikings will have nine players active including Mackensie Alexander, Terence Newman, Xavier Rhodes, Andrew Sendejo, and Laquon Treadwell.
Players to watch
This week will be a homecoming for Arizona receivers Michael Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald. Last season in the week 13 matchup, Floyd had one of his best games of the season; Floyd would catch five passes for 102 yards. If Floyd puts together another big game, he could establish himself as the threat he once was. When Floyd is on, defenses will have a hard time defending himself and Fitzgerald.
Chandler Jones is one of the top sack leaders in the NFL with seven. Marcus Golden is right behind him with six. The offensive line for Minnesota is banged up, with new starters at the tackles positions Sam Bradford at times has held onto the ball way to long. If Jones and Golden set the tone on the edge, both can add to their sack totals this week.
Everson Griffen and Anthony Barr will try and go after Earl Watford and D.J. Humphries on the right side of the offensive line. Both Watford and Humphries have struggled in protecting quarterback Carson Palmer and recently struggled in creating wholes for David Johnson to run through. Griffen and Barr will look to keep disrupting the right side of the offensive line, disrupting big play attempts and taking Johnson out of the game.
Even though the Cardinals have not beat a good team this season, this could be the week they finally do. The Vikings are struggling right now to move the ball offensively and have injuries to key players on the defensive side of the ball. With the Cardinals defense playing as they are, they can create the turnover needed to take control of the game. This could be another low scoring affair for both teams.
Cardinals 21, Vikings 14.