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Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 20 November 2016
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: U.S. BANK STADIUM~!
DirecTV Ch 711
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 226
Sirius Ch 93
TV Announcers: Joe Buck
Troy Aikman
Know Thy Foe: Revenge of the Birds
Weather: Indoors, because the game is at U.S. BANK STADIUM~!
Line: Minnesota -1.5, Over/Under 40 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 23, Cardinals 20
Final Score:

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Ladies and gentlemen, it is once again nearly time for Minnesota Vikings football. After a heartbreaker the last time they played on their home field, the purple and gold are looking at a make-or-break contest, as they'll line up against the Arizona Cardinals this afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium.

So, what do the Vikings have to do in this one in order to get things back on the winning track?

1) Get off to a fast start for a change - The last time the Vikings were the first team on the scoreboard was back in Philadelphia the week after the bye. They had that lead for about fifteen seconds, and have found themselves trailing early in each of the last three games. Sam Bradford has played pretty good football over the past couple of weeks, and he needs to get this Vikings' offense into the end zone early. Minnesota's defense is at it's best when they have an opportunity to pin their ears back and play aggressively, and getting on the scoreboard first would set an early tone that they could hopefully ride to success.

2) Take advantage of opportunities - When he's "on," Carson Palmer is a good quarterback, and he's got a lot of weapons around him. However, he does have a tendency to give opposing defenses opportunities to make plays, as evidenced by his 11/8 touchdown-to-interception ratio so far this season. With the Cardinals ailing along the offensive line, players like Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter are going to have opportunities to get after Palmer and force him into a couple of bad throws. When they happen, the defense is going to have to take advantage and try to give the offense a short field to work with.

3) Keep an eye on David Johnson - Johnson is quickly becoming one of the NFL's best running backs, and he's a solid threat in both the run game and the pass game. He can hurt you in a number of ways, and it's going to be incumbent on Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr to keep him contained. Kendricks and Barr have both been battling injuries, and both of them (particularly Barr) have had some issues with tackling over the past couple of games. They can't have those sort of lapses against a back of Johnson's caliber. If they do, it's going to be a long day for the Vikings' defense.

We're less than an hour from kickoff in Minneapolis, folks. Keep an eye out for the new Open Thread at the start of every quarter, and enjoy today's game!