Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings: Cards looking to improve in all phases of game

PHOENIX, AZ - Arizona Cardinals (1-0) vs. Minnesota Vikings (1-0)

For the first time since 2004, the Cardinals and Vikings will meet in a pre-season game.

Catch all the action starting Saturday at 5 p.m. on ABC15!

Minnesota holds a 5-3 advantage in the previous eight pre-season games between the two teams.

After an impressive 32-0 win over the Houston Texans in pre-season game number one last weekend, the Cardinals hit the road, taking on the Vikings in Minneapolis.

RELATED: Carson Palmer has perfect start against Texans

Last weekend, the Cardinals offense seemed unstoppable, with all three quarterbacks (Carson Palmer, Drew Stanton and Logan Thomas) finishing with near-perfect games. Palmer finished 5 of 5, Stanton was 11 of 17 and Thomas finished 11 of 12 for a combined QB Rating of 138.8.

The Cardinals defense was equally imposing, holding the hapless Texans to just 172 total yards and allowing them to penetrate the 30 yard line just once. The Texans finished with just 82 yards passing and 90 yards rushing in an effort that left you wondering if the Cardinals are that good or the Texans just that bad!

This week, the Vikings will pose a distinctly more powerful offense and defense than the Cardinals saw last week in Houston. The Vikings will go with veteran Matt Cassel, who played sparingly in last week’s 10-6 win over the Raiders.

Rookie Teddy Bridgewater threw for 49 yards, finishing his NFL debut 6 of 13 with a QB rating of just 56.2.

Jerick McKinnon led the Vikings in the rushing department carrying the ball 12 times for 45 yards while Cordarrelle Patterson led Minnesota with 3 catches for 38 yards and a 12.7 yard average.

Defensively, the Vikings held the Raiders to 268 total yards of offense, keeping the Raider offense in check for most of the game. Oakland finally scored its lone touchdown of the game with 1:25 to play against the Vikings 4th teamers and substitutes.

Kurt Coleman picked off Oakland rookie quarterback Derek Carr halfway through the second quarter to end a Raider 12 play drive.

This week, expect the Cardinals starters to go a little deeper into the game, but Coach Bruce Arians says, he may be re-thinking just how much he lets his starters play this week; worrying more about keeping them healthy than giving them playing time.

One of the big questions heading into this game is the kickers: Will the Cardinals keep 14 year veteran Jay Feely or go with rookie Chandler Catanzaro? Catanzaro handled all the kicking duties last Saturday in game one, but Feely will get his shot this week, outdoors in Minnesota.

The other big question is at left guard, where second year pro, Jonathan Cooper is fighting to hold onto his spot in the starting lineup. Given the fact that Cooper is hurt this week (right toe), it may be doubtful he’ll gain much ground over his backup, Earl Watford.

Keep your eye on the Cardinals offensive line this weekend, Coach Arians would like to see the offense improve on its run game.

Prediction: Cardinals 21 – Vikings 13

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