After a wildly impressive start that came as unexpected to most, the Minnesota Vikings have quickly come back to reality with a string of tough losses. They enter Week 11 with a 5-4 record, four of those defeats coming consecutively. They’ll desperately try and rebound at home this week, against a very solid Arizona team. Minnesota has struggled offensively in recent weeks, and it seems as if the resignation of their previous offensive coordinator, Norv Turner has done nothing to turn things around. The Vikes are no longer the favourites in the wide-open NFC North, and if they don’t reverse their fortunes, they’ll likely be watching the playoffs from home after a 5-0 start.
For the Cardinals, they too have had some tough results, entering Week 11 with an average 4-4-1 record. They know and we know it should and could be a much better record, but they’ve failed to execute in some key spots and find themselves in this predicament. They remain in a good spot for the playoffs in the NFC, but know that the divisional race won’t be easy when they’ve got to contend against the Seahawks. Right now, every win matters for both of these teams with Super Bowl aspirations, and neither can afford a loss in a key Week 11. This should be a greatly competitive match-up, so read on below for full analysis, as well as a betting selection for the Vikings and Cardinals.
Cardinals vs. Vikings Betting Odds:
Arizona Cardinals +2 (-110)
@ Minnesota Vikings -2 (-110)
Over 40 (-110)
Under 40 (-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Cardinals vs. Vikings Pick:
Entering Week 11, a lot of ink has been spilled on the recent struggles of Sam Bradford and the Minnesota Vikings’ offence as a whole. Yes, they’ve struggled of late compared to their torrid start, but it’s not like the Cardinals have been all that great of late either. They’ve failed to score more than 23 points for the last five weeks, the last time they eclipsed that total was back in Week 6 against the lowly Jets. Their offensive line has been brutal as well. Some injuries have derailed their protection schemes and as a result, the immobile Carson Palmer hasn’t had enough time and space to properly adjust. The Vikings’ defensive line has to be eager going against this Arizona front on Sunday.
Palmer too needs to take some of the blame as it is starting to seem like the game has passed him by. His passes are not crisp, and he has been missing his targets on a weekly basis. It is also expected that Minnesota will finally get some reinforcements back on defense as Xavier Rhodes and Eric Kendricks are slated to return to the lineup. With them back in the fold, Minnesota now has the personnel to stifle the Cards’ aerial attack.
Like the Cardinals, the Vikings too have had some issues of late with their blocking. Jake Long has recently been lost for the season, and there are a lot of uncertainties with this group as they enter this showdown. Arizona does boast a pretty potent pass rush, and it will be up to Bradford to make quick decisions and get rid of the ball to his talented wideouts in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Aside from Patrick Peterson, Arizona really doesn’t have anybody else worthy in their secondary, and if Bradford gets some space, the opportunity will be there to move the chains.
Both of these teams enter with some offensive issues, but still, the Vikings shouldn’t be home underdogs to a team that’s also struggling. It seems as though people are making a bigger deal of Minnesota’s just because they’ve somehow turned a 5-0 record into a 5-4 one. Minnesota still has a great defence, one that will be strengthened this week with some key returnees. While I doubt either team moves the ball with regularity on Sunday, look for Minnesota to do more when they possess the football. Like Carolina, it seems as if the betting market is pricing the Cardinals as their 2015 version. They’re not a very good team this season, and look for the Vikings to remind them of that on Sunday afternoon. This line is off, and look for the Vikings to secure an outright victory as home underdogs against a fading Cardinals squad.
PICK = Vikings +2 (-110)