Oct 7, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen (69) celebrates his sack of the Tennessee Titans quarterback with defensive end Brian Robison (96) in the second quarter at the Metrodome. The Vikings win 30-7. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-US PRESSWIRE

Vikings vs. Cardinals: Key battles for a Vikings win

Vikings Defensive line vs. Cardinals Offensive line

The Cardinals have given up a league high 28 sacks through the first 6 games. With quarterback John Skelton starting, it is likely that the Vikings Defensive line will be able to get pressure on the immobile Skelton. The Vikes defensive line has been mediocre at best and this game is crucial for them. If they can get something going against this weak offensive line maybe they can get some momentum going for the season. Jared Allen sat out practice with groin issues, but is likely to play and personally, i expect a good game from him and the entire defensive line this week.

Vikings secondary vs. Cardinals receivers

The Cardinals feature one of the most dangerous receiving lineups in the NFL. Everybody knows exactly what Larry Fitzgerald is capable of so there is no reason to go over it, but rookie Michael Floyd is a miniature Fitzgerald who can be a red zone threat and open up the middle for Fitzgerald.
The Vikings Secondary will have their hands full with these two monsters on the outsides and will need to find a way to not give up the middle so often like they did against the Redskins. If they can shut down everyone else with help from the linebackers it will allow for the secondary to help on Fitzgerald. Expect to see the same game plan from the secondary that they used against the Lions if they can shut down Fitzgerald’s help.

Percy Harvin vs. Patrick Peterson

Percy Harvin is the only threat the Vikings have right now that will make coordinators cringe. Harvin has been key to getting the offense started. Jerome Simpson will be playing and his presence can open up the field for mid routes to Harvin. If Patrick peterson is going to be assigned to cover Percy, I imagine that the Vikings will use him in the backfield and find other ways to get the explosive Harvin going. Peterson is an elite cornerback talent that has all the necessary tools to cover any receiver. Harvin has the skill to beat peterson, but it will more than likely take a perfectly thrown ball or a perfectly run route to do it. Peterson has the ability to shut down Percy for the whole game; Percy has the ability to burn Peterson at any moment, it will be an exciting battle to watch.

The Vikings defense was expose last game against the Redskins, but that was with a very elusive Quarterback making the plays. They will have a much easier time keeping Skelton in the pocket. If the Defensive line can force bad throws and allow the secondary to make plays on the ball, it will be an easy day for the defense.

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Tags: Jared Allen Minnesota Vikings Percy Harvin

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