Arizona Cardinals vs Minnesota Vikings: Key Matchups

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Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Getting pressure on Sam Bradford will disrupt the Vikings offense.

When Teddy Bridgewater went down with an injury before the season started, most assumed that the Vikings were in trouble. A trade for Sam Bradford was generally seen as desperation, but he has played pretty well overall.

Minnesota has done a good job in not requiring Bradford to throw it 40 times per game. The Vikings are 24th in passing attempts on the season. When he does throw it, he’s been efficient at it, completing nearly 70% of his passes, and posting 11 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions.

Where he is vulnerable at, is to a good pass rush. The Vikings have struggled to protect him for most of the season, and it shows. He’s been sacked 24 times, and didn’t even play in week one. The left tackle spot, manned by TJ Clemmings, has been especially egregious, but the line as a whole has been bad.

Arizona’s pass rush has been good again in 2016, and the signing of Chandler Jones has proven to be a good one. Jones leads the team with seven sacks, and Markus Golden is right behind him with six, while the team has 24 total sacks, good for eighth in the league.

The Vikings offense has struggled after starting the season 5-0. One of the biggest reasons is a porous offensive line that has kept Bradford on the run. Arizona needs to keep that trend up.