Why do I think the Cards will win handily over the Vikings?
First, the Cardinals are playing at home, that alone gives them a huge advantage! The Cardinals Red Sea is a major difference maker at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Second, the Cardinals are playing at home! No, that’s not a typo, that’s fact! This is a short week and when you play Sunday and then have to play again on Thursday, it definitely helps to play a home game.
The Vikings have to travel on a short week for a night game, which is definitely not a fun experience. I fully expect them to be tired.
Third, the Vikings have only beaten one team with a winning record (Chiefs, 7-5) but at the time they played, the Chiefs were struggling.
Fourth, the Vikings will be forced to rely on Adrian Peterson to carry the offense against a stout Cardinals defense. Good luck with that! The Cardinals rank fourth in rushing defense this season, and I don’t expect that to change much on Thursday night.
Fifth, Teddy Bridgewater. The Vikings quarterback is 24th in the league in passing yards and his 83 quarterback rating places him 28th out of 32 QBs in the league.
Sixth, the Arizona Cardinals' offense. It’s simply too diverse and too strong for the Minnesota defense to slow down. With all the weapons Carson Palmer has this season, it’s virtually impossible for a defense to stop the Cardinals. After all, the Cardinals are first in the league in total offense this season.
Seventh, the Vikings lost to the Seahawks last weekend 38-7, and while I agree that the Seahawks are playing much better lately, Minnesota hasn’t seen an offense like the one they’ll face Thursday night at University of Phoenix Stadium.
And finally, the Cardinals are 3-0 in “prime-time” games this season and that certainly doesn’t bode well for a team that has to come to Phoenix and play them at home!
My pick: Cardinals 40 – Vikings 14