Minnesota Vikings

NFL Week 6 Game preview: Cardinals (1-4) at Vikings (2-2-1)

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Arizona got into the win column for the first time last week with a solid 28-18 victory over the 49ers. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen hasn’t provided the answers to everything that is wrong with the Cardinals, but he certainly lifted the hopes of football fans in the desert.

Meanwhile, fans in Minnesota breathed a sigh of relief as their beloved Vikings righted the ship in Philadelphia last week. The 23-21 final score doesn’t reflect how the Vikings had the game in hand throughout against the defending champion Eagles.

Kirk Cousins continues to shrug off defenses and make key plays up and down the field, even as his running game and offensive line provide minimal support. Getting Dalvin Cook back on the field for the Week 6 matchup will help.

But it was the return of the Minnesota defense that signaled the end of Vikings fans worries. After consecutive weeks of unrecognizable play, the unit played up to preseason expectations against Carson Wentz and the Eagles.

Arizona’s defense will have to play well to keep the Cardinals in this game. They will need to force big plays to contain Cousins and his arsenal of receiving options. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s suspect offensive line also seemed to find itself against the Eagles.

Injuries and roster moves

Minnesota left tackle Riley Reiff reinjured his troublesome foot against Philadelphia. But putting rookie Brian O’Neil into the game at right tackle while shifting Rashod Hill to the left did nothing to impede the offensive line’s strong pass blocking.

Dalvin Cook is expected to return to the lineup, providing a much-needed boost to a struggling running game.

Arizona’s RT Andre Smith left Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. There has been no status update, but the Cardinals have been without Smith most of the season.

Larry Fitzgerald continues to deal with hamstring and back issues, opening the way for rookie Christian Kirk to step up.

Coaching matchup

Rookie Steve Wilks is raising eyebrows in Arizona with his firm “play well or sit” edict. Even quarterback Sam Bradford found himself on the sideline despite a starter’s contract signed in the offseason.

It’s hard to say what Wilks’ style is doing to the locker room, but a win in Week 5 surely soothed any wounded egos.

Mike Zimmer continues to be Cranky Mike on game day. In his fifth season, it seemed something was pushing his Vikings off the rails after a 1-2-1 start. The long rest after a Thursday Night blowout loss to the Rams gave him the time to get things back on track.

How to watch the Vikings-Cardinals game

Fox Sports will televise the Cardinal’s game at Minnesota for cable, satellite, and over-the-air providers. They will also over live stream Cardinals-Vikings action to multiple internet television service providers like DirecTV Now.

DirecTV Now offers live stream NFL action all season long with high definition feeds to any internet-connected device. It costs a fraction of what cable and satellite television costs and requires no contracts or special equipment.

Fubo TV and Sling TV also offer many NFL-affiliated networks in affordable monthly subscriptions. Best of all, you can watch the Vikings-Cardinals game for free during their standard trial period.

Who will win the Vikings-Cardinals game?

Minnesota opens as the week’s largest betting favorite with a 10.5-point spread. That reflects the general feeling that the expectant Super Bowl contenders have solved their early-season woes while there is still much work to do in Arizona.

Kirk Cousins looks unstoppable. As the pieces around him are shored up, the Vikings are that much stronger. The Vikings defense undoubtedly looks forward to correcting some statistical deficiencies against a rookie quarterback and weak offensive line.

Arizona will have to make big plays on both sides of the ball to have a chance at the upset. But Minnesota is better equipped for that. Final score: Vikings 31, Cardinals 13

 

 

 

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