Arizona (4-4-1) at Minnesota (5-4)
When: Sunday, November 20th 2016
Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Time: 1:00 ET | TV: FOX
The Minnesota Vikings will look to get back to their winning ways when they host the Arizona Cardinals in a pivotal NFC clash on Sunday. The Vikings were the last undefeated team in the league at 5-0 going into their bye week, but have come out of it with four straight losses to fall into a tie with Detroit in the NFC North. The Vikings are still 3-1 at home where quarterback Sam Bradford has been at his best. Bradford has thrown six touchdown passes without an interception while posting a 111.3 rating in four games at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings changed kickers this week, releasing Blair Walsh and signing Kai Forbath, who split last season between Washington and New Orleans. Walsh had missed four extra-points so far this season. Stefon Diggs had 13 receptions for 164 yards against the Redskins last week after making 13 catches for 80 yards versus Detroit in Week 9, becoming the first player in NFL history with at least 13 catches in consecutive games. The running game is still holding this offense back and has an NFL-worst 69.8 rushing yards per contest. Up next for Minnesota is a Thanksgiving Day date with the Lions in Detroit.
The Cardinals have a top 10 offense and defense, but just a 4-4-1 record to show for it. They limped into their bye week with an ugly 6-6 tie with Seattle and 30-20 loss at Carolina, but came out of it with a 23-20 victory over lowly San Francisco last week. Running back David Johnson was limited to 55 yards on 19 carries last week but gained 46 on five receptions to become the first player since Indianapolis’ Edgerrin James in 2005 to record 100 yards from scrimmage in each of his team’s first nine games. Johnson is second in the league with 1,213 scrimmage yards and is one of three players in NFL history (Gale Sayers and Abner Haynes) to record 15 rushing touchdowns, five receiving scores and a kickoff-return TD in his first two seasons. Carson Palmer, who has eclipsed 300 passing yards in three straight games, has thrown for seven touchdowns with just one interception in four career games against Minnesota. His top target of Larry Fitzgerald expects to play today after suffering a sprained MCL against San Francisco last week. Arizona gets another tough road game next week in Atlanta.
Minnesota has been a different team this season at home and so had Bradford. Arizona has been too inconsistent all season for me to predict a road win against a very good defense. Bradford is starting to turn things around, but Minnesota must find a ground game if it wants to go far this season. Expect a low-scoring game with the Vikings pulling it out in the end.
Pick: Vikings PK