Cardinals Plot Game Plan Against Vikings

How do the Cardinals plan on stopping No. 4? Here are the matchups to watch, keys to the game and much more...

GAME PLAN: The Cardinals must be able to run the ball productively to keep the Vikings' pass rush off the quarterback. They also will use a variety of quick screens to receivers and backs. They are going to need some big plays, too, because the Vikings will score. The Cardinals secondary needs to play better than it did last week. The Vikings have weapons at receiver and the Cardinals need a more consistent pass rush.


Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald vs. Vikings secondary.

Fitzgerald wasn't a factor last week against the Titans, but that had more to do with the Cardinals game plan and the way the game developed than it did the Titans' secondary.

Cardinals DE Darnell Dockett vs. Vikings RT Phil Loadholt.

Dockett is explosive and has a strong lower body. He plays with great leverage, and Loadholt is rookie. Dockett needs to dominate this matchup and make plays in the backfield.

Cardinals LT Mike Gandy/Jeremy Bridges vs. Vikings RDE Jared Allen.

Gandy has played well over the past month, but he's struggling with a pelvic injury. Bridges will start if Gandy can't. Either one will have a difficult time with Allen, who has 12.5 sacks. The Cardinals usually don't give their tackles a lot of help but they will need to in this game.


QB Kurt Warner likely will remain a question mark for the entire week as he recovers from concussion symptoms. Warner is dealing with foggy vision and light sensitivity. That needs to clear up for a couple of days for Warner to feel comfortable playing. Matt Leinart could start his second consecutive game.

--LT Mike Gandy is struggling with a pelvic injury that kept him out of the fourth quarter last week in Tennessee. Gandy has been playing through the injury for several weeks, so he likely will be questionable throughout this week. Jeremy Bridges is the backup and he did an adequate job last week. But he could be matched against Jared Allen of the Vikings this week.

--ILB Karlos Dansby has a sore shoulder and likely will be questionable throughout the week. Dansby didn't play much in the fourth quarter last week. Ali Highsmith is the backup and there is a significant drop-off in talent. The Cardinals could also use Monty Beisel, who was signed last week.

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