We are now less than one hour away from the kickoff of the All-Important Third Preseason Game™, as the Arizona Cardinals will clash with your Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on this lovely Saturday afternoon. This is going to be the last opportunity we have to see a lot of the team’s bigger names until we hit the start of the regular season, as the final preseason game is going to be basically all bottom of the roster type players.
The Vikings come into this game having won both of their preseason contests, defeating the New Orleans Saints on the road and the Seattle Seahawks at home. The Cardinals have split their two preseason games, having opened with a home victory over the Los Angeles Chargers and falling last week, also at home, to the Oakland Raiders.
Here’s everything you need to know for today’s contest.
Time: Saturday, 24 August, 12:00 PM Central
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television coverage: Local affiliates throughout the Upper Midwest (which you can see right here), NFL Network nationally
Radio coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 88, XM Channel 88, SiriusXM app Channel 819
Line: Again with the betting on the preseason football. Seriously, knock it off.
1) No significant injuries - As mentioned earlier on, this is going to be the last action for the majority of the Vikings’ starters before the first game of the regular season. A couple of teams saw pretty significant injuries in their games over the past couple of days, so let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that it doesn’t happen to the Vikings. (Or to the Cardinals, obviously.)
2) The continuing WR3 battle - We’re getting closer to the start of the season, and we still don’t know who the third guy on the wide receiver depth chart is going to be? Is it Chad Beebe? Brandon Zylstra? Bisi Johnson? Laquon Treadwell? (Okay, probably not Laquon Treadwell, “showcase” or not.) We’ve been waiting all preseason for an answer to emerge and. . .well, we still don’t have one. Will today’s game provide more clarity?
3) Answers at defensive tackle - Both of the Vikings’ starters at defensive tackle, Linval Joseph and Shamar Stephen, have missed the first two preseason games, and the Vikings, much like my friend Al, have looked a little soft in the middle. (Why are they soft in the middle, now?) This team is going to need someone to step up and take charge of those spots behind Joseph and Stephen, and today is as good an opportunity as any.
And we’ve also still got kicker/punter drama, but you knew that.
Know the Foe: Revenge of the Birds
Enjoy the first two quarters of action from U.S. Bank Stadium, folks, and keep your eyes out for the second half discussion thread during the break.