At 10 AM Arizona time, Kevin Kolb and the Arizona Cardinals will kick off against Donovan McNabb and the Minnesota Vikings. As Arizona is 1-3 and the Vikes 0-4 to start the season, a win for either team is what they seek to approach respectability and to be closer to playoff contention.
It is the fourth straight season that the two teams face off. Minnesota holds a recent 2-1 edge over Arizona and the 22nd time all-time. The last time the two teams met, the Vikings rallied from 14 points down to tie the game and force overtime, where they won. Brett Favre, in his final season, threw for a career-high 446 yards.
Looking at the two teams, they are not too different. While the Cardinals have lost their last three games by a combined eight points, Minnesota has had the lead in each of their games, but at 0-4 has let the lead get away.
The Cardinals have scored nine more points than Minnesota, but the Vikings have allowed nine points more than Arizona. The turnovers for both teams are one thing that is different. Arizona has lost three fumbles out of 10 and been intercepted four times. The Vikings have lost only one fumbled and have been picked twice.
Where they differ greatly is in how well they pass the ball. Both teams have new quarterbacks. Arizona has Kevin Kolb and Minnesota has Donovan McNabb. When both were member of the Philadelphia Eagles, McNabb was teh starter ahead of Kolb. Arizona averages over 240 yards a game passing, but Minnesota has only been able to muster a little over 150 passing yards again.
Both teams have very good running backs. Minnesota features Adrian Peterson, considered by many to be the best back in the game. Arizona counters with Beanie Wells, who appears to be having a breakout season right now.
The Cardinals in recent history have struggled mightily on the road, but Minnesota has not looked good yet. Both teams have not been able to capitalize in the clutch and their defenses have been abused. . Both teams are hungry to end their losing streaks and get back on track to hopefully find a way in to the playoffs.
As you watch the game, what do you think are the keys for Arizona to come away with a much-needed win? Who needs to stand out?