Sep 25, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Obligatory Credit score: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports activities.
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Few folks anticipated the Minnesota Vikings to come back out of their Week 7 bye with a 5-1 document and a simple lead within the NFC North. The Vikings host the Cardinals on Sunday in an try to extend the hole within the division.
Rusty or Rested?
The video games in Week 6 and Week 8 are precisely 14 days aside, and subsequently, the bye week can have two attainable results. A results of not taking part in a recreation is often a rested staff. The Vikings launched their Wednesday damage report with only one identify on it. Rookie vast receiver Jalen Nailor had a hamstring damage however nonetheless managed to get in a full observe. All different gamers on the 53-man roster are wholesome and needs to be rested.
Nevertheless, the bye week also can have a special impact, because the staff might be rusty. The gamers may have a couple of performs to get again on top of things. Within the final 12 seasons, the Vikings solely managed to win three video games and misplaced 9. Head coach Kevin O’Connell copied a whole lot of his strategy from his earlier staff, the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams misplaced after their bye week in 2021 in opposition to the Inexperienced Bay Packers. Granted, the Packers have been laborious to beat and gained 13 video games within the common season.
One other issue is that the momentum might be stopped. O’Connell’s Vikings have gained 4 consecutive video games, and the momentum doesn’t all the time proceed after the bye week, identical to the 2016 Vikings proved. They gained their first 5 video games. After the bye week, they solely had a 3-8 document. The Vikings should get again into rhythm and on top of things early within the recreation.
Which Cardinals Workforce will Present Up?
The Cardinals can present a special face on any given Sunday. They’re completely able to offensive fireworks, however there’s one drawback. They’ll’t do it persistently. Simply final week, the Cardinals scored 42 factors in opposition to the Saints. It was their first and solely time scoring greater than 30 factors in 2022. Arizona additionally eclipsed 400 yards on offense simply as soon as this season, of their Week 2 comeback win in opposition to the Raiders.
In 2021, the Cardinals scored greater than 30 factors in 9 video games and had at the very least 400 yards in seven video games. Additionally they began 7-0 into the season earlier than they fell off a cliff and pulled off a victory in simply 4 of the final ten video games. The 11-6 staff misplaced within the wild-card spherical in Los Angeles in opposition to the Rams.
Within the offseason, the franchise didn’t make any massive strikes however regressed and began the season 3-4, which provides them a document of 7-10 within the final 17 common season video games. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury signed a contract extension within the offseason however is already considerably on the recent seat. The offense is fifteenth in yards and factors, whereas the protection is twenty seventh in factors. If the Vikings’ offense wanted a recreation to unleash the O’Connell offense absolutely, it’s this one. The 2 groups performed in a shootout final yr, and it’s as soon as once more the most certainly situation.
Containing the Star WRs
Each groups have a famous person vast receiver on their staff. Justin Jefferson is third within the league in receiving yards and has already had his bye week. He’s additionally main the league in yards since he entered the league in 2020. JJ additionally eclipsed the 100-yard mark in 4 of the six video games. Solely the Eagles and the Lions contained him, however Jefferson bounced again in an enormous approach with three consecutive 100-yard video games.
DeAndre Hopkins, in the meantime, had six seasons with over 1,000 yards. He has been one of the crucial harmful weapons within the NFL for nearly a decade, regardless of a whole lot of subpar play from his QBs. Within the final season, he struggled with accidents for the primary time in his profession. In 2022, Hopkins was suspended for the primary six video games and made his debut final week in opposition to the Saints. He caught 10 passes for 103 yards. The Vikings should decelerate the receiver to win the sport.
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