Vikings-Cardinals game scout

Get the weekend schedule and the vitals to the Vikings and Cardinals – fast facts, keys to the game and notes from both camps.

Sunday
Tennessee Titans (5-6) at Indianapolis Colts (11-0)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-10) at Carolina Panthers (4-7)
St. Louis Rams (1-10) at Chicago Bears (4-7)
Philadelphia Eagles (7-4) at Atlanta Falcons (6-5)
Oakland Raiders (3-8) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5)
Detroit Lions (2-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (8-3)
New Orleans Saints (11-0) at Washington Redskins (3-8)
New England Patriots (7-4) at Miami Dolphins (5-6)
Houston Texans (5-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (6-5)
Denver Broncos (7-4) at Kansas City Chiefs (3-8)
San Diego Chargers (8-3) at Cleveland Browns (1-10)
San Francisco 49ers (5-6) at Seattle Seahawks (4-7)
Dallas Cowboys (8-3) at New York Giants (6-5)
Minnesota Vikings (10-1) at Arizona Cardinals (7-4)
Monday
Baltimore Ravens (6-5) at Green Bay Packers (7-4)


Minnesota Vikings (10-1) at Arizona Cardinals (7-4)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 8:20 ET
GAMEDATE: 12/06/09
SURFACE: Grass
TV: NBC (Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Andrea Kremer)

KEYS TO THE GAME


The Cardinals might not know QB Kurt Warner's (concussion) status until Sunday. The passing game isn't as explosive under Matt Leinart, but coach Ken Whisenhunt won't dial back the playbook after Leinart played well in Tennessee. And considering how difficult the Vikings are to run against, Arizona's passing attack will have to lead the charge.

Minnesota's offense is looking nearly unstoppable with opponents continuing to focus on RB Adrian Peterson, leaving QB Brett Favre to spread the ball around to his wide array of big-play threats. The Cardinals like to blitz, but Favre's experience and quick release makes that a dangerous proposition.

FAST FACTS

  • Arizona leads the league with a 71.1 touchdown percentage in the red zone.

  • Vikings QB Brett Favre, 40, has 24 touchdown passes. The NFL record for a quarterback at least 40 years old by the end of that season is Warren Moon (25) in 1997.

    VIKINGS

  • QB Brett Favre will play in his 283rd consecutive regular-season game, giving him the NFL record for the most consecutive games played in league history by a position player.

  • The Vikings have won seven of the last eight games and nine of the 11 meetings between the teams since the franchise relocated from St. Louis to Arizona.

  • One of the Vikings' most painful regular season loses came in Arizona when wide receiver Nate Poole caught a 28-yard touchdown pass from Josh McCown on fourth down with no time left in the 2003 regular-season finale to knock Minnesota out of the playoffs. The Vikings joined the 1978 Washington Redskins as the only teams to start 6-0 and not make the playoffs. The Vikings' loss gave the division title to the Green Bay Packers.

  • DT Kevin Williams had a career-high 10 tackles and three sacks, intercepted the first pass of his career and forced a fumble in the final game of his rookie season in that 2003 defeat.

  • QB Tarvaris Jackson, who will serve as Brett Favre's backup on Sunday, threw for a career-high four touchdown passes with a passer rating of 135.5 in the Vikings' 35-14 victory last December in Arizona. Jackson earned NFC offensive player of the week honors for that performance.

  • Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald was a ball boy at several Vikings training camps in Mankato, Minn.

  • Former Cardinals head coaches Bob Hollway and Buddy Ryan were one-time assistants under legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant. Former Vikings coach Dennis Green also went on to coach the Cardinals.

  • RB Adrian Peterson has gone over 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season, becoming only the third Vikings back to have three 1,000-yards seasons in a row. The others were Robert Smith and Chuck Foreman.

    CARDINALS

  • RB Beanie Wells continues to struggle with ball security, one reason Tim Hightower is hanging on the starting job. Wells has fumbled pitchouts the past two games, but he's dangerous when he does hang on to the ball.

  • The Cardinals are thin at linebacker and the lack of depth is starting to show. They aren't getting much production from right outside linebackers Bertrand Berry and Chike Okeafor. And with rookies Will Davis and Cody Brown out with injuries, they don't have many alternatives.

  • The club has used two tight end sets more often in recent weeks, so the third receiver, Steve Breaston, isn't getting the ball as much. Breaston has four catches in the past two games. His average per game was almost five before then.

  • Sunday night will be the third time the Cardinals have played in prime time this year. They have a Monday night game next week, so the four appearances will the most in one season in the team's history.

  • Kurt Warner and Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre have thrown for 99,310 yards. That's the equivalent of 56.4 miles.

  • The Cardinals have scored touchdowns in the red zone 81.8 percent of the time over the past six games. Arizona's 71.1 percentage overall leads the NFL.

  • Coach Ken Whisenhunt was asked if it would be "fun" coming up with a game plan for the Vikings defense.

    "I don't know if ‘fun' is the exact word," Whisenhunt said, "but we'll certainly come up with something that we think will work. . . . You always have to mix your coverages, because you can't give a guy like Brett Favre a bead on what you're doing or he'll tear you up. Hopefully, we do enough things to keep him off balance."

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