Arizona Cardinals vs Minnesota Vikings: Key Matchups

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Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

The Arizona Cardinals look to get their record over .500 for the first time in the 2016 season versus the Minnesota Vikings.

The Arizona Cardinals were chic pick to win the Super Bowl before the 2016 season began, based on the explosive offense they displayed in 2015, an opportunistic defense that was among the league’s best at forcing turnovers, and some solid free agent additions in the offseason. Things haven’t gone as expected, however.

A 1-3 start put the team behind the eight-ball, but they are on the road to recovery, and back in the race for the playoffs, sitting two games behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. They’re also, at 4-4-1, squarely in the middle of the wild card race.

Today’s matchup sees the Cardinals take on one of the other

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teams that could wind up in the hunt for a wild card spot, and one that is trending downward. The Vikings began

the season red hot, but are in the midst of a four-game losing streak. During that period, they’ve failed to score more than 20 points a single time, and haven’t held an opponent under that same number of points.

The Cardinals need a win this week, and some key matchups will determine which team takes a big step towards the postseason, and which team will need a lot of help in order to get there. This is a very important game, that neither team can afford to lose.

There are a few key matchups that will likely determine the outcome of today’s game. Here’s a more in depth look at the ones that matter the most if the Cardinals want to get their fifth win of the season.