Thursday Night Football: Arizona Cardinals Host Minnesota Vikings in NFC Showdown, Preview, Spread, Pick

Week 14 NFL Thursday Night Football will head to the desert southwest when the Arizona Cardinals play host to the Minnesota Vikings.

The game has playoff implications in the NFC. Both teams are coming off one-sided games. Minnesota lost 38-7 against the Seattle Seahawks, while Arizona easily defeated the St. Louis Rams 27-3. The win for the Cardinals was their sixth consecutive.

Arizona sits in second in the NFC two games behind front-running Carolina at 12-0. However, Arizona is close to securing the No. 2 seed, which means a bye in the first week of the postseason.

Offensively, Carson Palmer the veteran quarterback has carried the team this season. The Cardinals defense is No. 4 overall in yards allowed a game at just less than 317.

Minnesota must recover from his loss to Seattle as the Vikings are in a battle for the top spot in the NFC North with Green Bay. The two teams are tied atop the division, but Green Bay holds the tiebreaker due to beating the Vikings in their first of two head-to-head games this season.

Minnesota only accumulated 125 total yards on offensive versus Seattle and could convert just 2 of its 10 chances on third down.

The Vikings are one game ahead of Seattle in the NFC’s top wildcard spot and two games ahead of Tampa Bay for the second wildcard.

Adrian Peterson the Minnesota star running back complained following the team’s loss to Seattle about the play calling. He went as far as saying the Seattle coaches outcoached Minnesota’s coaches.

Peterson leads the NFL in rushing, but carried the ball just eight times in the loss to the Seahawks.

The Minnesota defense must play better against the potent Arizona offense if the team hopes to win on the road. The Vikings defense gave up 433 yards to Seattle and is near the bottom of the league in rushing yards allowed.

Seattle ran for 173 yards with two touchdowns against Minnesota.

Injury Report

VIKINGS: OUT: LB Anthony Barr (groin, hand), DT Linval Joseph (foot), S Andrew Sendejo (knee), S Harrison Smith (knee, hamstring), LB Brandon Watts (rib). QUESTIONABLE: S Robert Blanton (knee). PROBABLE: DE Scott Crichton (ankle).

CARDINALS: OUT: RB Andre Ellington (toe), CB Jerraud Powers (calf), DT Frostee Rucker (ankle). DOUBTFUL: TE Jermaine Gresham (knee). QUESTIONABLE: S Tony Jefferson (hamstring), TE Mike Leach (knee), DE Cory Redding (ankle). PROBABLE: WR John Brown (hamstring), WR Larry Fitzgerald (ankle), WR Michael Floyd (hamstring), S Rashad Johnson (ankle), RB Stepfan Taylor (shoulder).

Latest Line: MINNESOTA VIKINGS at ARIZONA CARDINALS

Favorite: Arizona -9, Over/Under: 46.5

On the season, Minnesota is 8-4 straight up and 9-3 against the spread, while Arizona is 10-2 SU and 7-5 ATS.

On the road, the Vikings are 4-2 SU and 5-1 ATS, while at home the Cardinals are 4-1 SU and 2-3 ATS.

Lean: With Minnesota having a short week coming off a painful loss and on the road, the lean is toward Arizona less the points.

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