The Arizona Cardinals are playing the Minnesota Vikings in a pivotal Week 8 matchup that will work wonders if the Red Birds can take it.
Despite facing a tall task this week against the Minnesota Vikings, the Arizona Cardinals have a few huge advantages heading into the Week 8 contest. The Vikings are an outstanding football team, and they have the Cardinals beaten in many statistical categories.
But there are some flaws in one of the NFC’s best, and as fate would have it, the Vikings shortcomings are the Cardinals strengths. Let’s look closer.
1 – Short passing game
The Minnesota Vikings have given up 7.3 yards per passing attempt, per Pro-Football-Reference. And although Patrick Peterson has shown he is still one of the better corners in football, the man lining up opposite him, Cam Dantzler, has been another story.
Further, neither Eric Kendricks nor Jordan Hicks have been outstanding in covering the middle of the field. Though Hicks has an interception to his name, he is also allowing an 80% completion percentage and 8.7 yards per target.
2 – Yards per offensive play
Likewise, the Vikings are also allowing the third-highest total yards per offensive play, at 6.0 per play, tied for the third-highest in the league. Much of this may have to do with the weaker short to intermediate passing game.
Knowing that the Vikings have a tendency to give up quite a bit of yardage per play, the Cardinals can definitely take advantage of this and melt Minnesota’s defense, keeping the likes of Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook on the sidelines.
3 – Red zone
The Vikings defense sits at a league-worst 80.0% red zone touchdown percentage, with the next-worst team being the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 76.5%. By contrast, the Arizona Cardinals red zone defense has allowed touchdowns just 57.1% of the time.
If the Cardinals can find a way to get into the red zone just five times, they should, from a probability standpoint, score four touchdowns. With DeAndre Hopkins in the lineup, the probability might just turn into a reality.
(Statistics provided by Pro-Football-Reference)