Minnesota (8-4) at Arizona (10-2)
When: Thursday, December 10th 2015
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, AZ
Time: 8:30 ET | TV: NFL Network
The Minnesota Vikings will try and rebound on short rest when they visit the Arizona Cardinals on Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 14. The Vikings were thrashed last week at home to Seattle 38-7 in a game they were never in. Their only score came on a 101-yard kickoff return touchdown by Cordarrelle Patterson. The Vikings managed only 9 first downs and 125 yards of total offense. Adrian Peterson was held to a season-low 18 yards on just 8 carries. The strength of this Minnesota team this year has been their defense and Seattle exposed them with 433 total yards including 25 first downs. Seattle also converted 9-of-13 third-downs in the blowout win. This marks the second time in three weeks the Vikings have been blown-out at home (30-13 vs. Green Bay). Minnesota has a solid defense and strong running game, but when they get behind and have to rely on Teddy Bridgewater, they’re in trouble. Bridgewater was 17-of-28 for 118 yards and an interception last week. The Vikings are still tied with Green Bay atop the NFC North, but have a brutal end of season schedule coming up. After tonight’s tough game, they host Chicago and the Giants before finishing up at Green Bay.
If it wasn’t for the terrific season the Carolina Panthers are having, the Arizona Cardinals would be getting all the publicity. This is definitely as Super Bowl caliber team with great weapons on offense and a solid defense. They have won six games in a row since a Week 6 loss at Pittsburgh and have held their last two opponents to just 16 combined points. Granted, it was San Francisco and St. Louis, but winning teams take care of the teams they’re supposed to. Just look at New England and what they did against the Eagles last week. Super Bowl teams don’t lose to inferior opponents. Carson Palmer could very well be the comeback player of the year. He continues to put up strong numbers and threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns last week. They have overtaken the Patriots with the top-ranked offense in yards and points scored. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is on pace for the most receptions of his career. He has 91 catches for 1,047 yards and 7 touchdowns. The Cardinals have the NFC West all but wrapped up and could very well be playing for nothing when they close the season against the Seahawks.
Adrian Peterson and the Vikings are mad after last week’s lackluster effort. I think the defense slows down the Cardinals and Peterson has a big game. Arizona wins, but I’ll take the seven and the hook in this one. These Thursday night games have been strange all year.
Pick: Vikings +7.5