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Final Thoughts: Vikings at Cardinals


**With kickoff fast-approaching, here are a few final thoughts about tonight's game.

How to Take in Tonight's Game
Game Time: 7:25 p.m. CT
TV: NFL Network, WCCO (locally)
Radio: Vikings Radio Network; KFAN-FM 100.3/KTCN-AM 1130
Mobile: NFL Mobile (exclusively on Verizon)

Situation to Watch: 3rd downs


**Perhaps the best matchup between an offensive group and a defensive group in the game is the Vikings defense against the Cardinals offense on 3rd downs. The Vikings enter with the NFL's 10th-ranked 3rd down defense, allowing only a 36.8% conversion rate, while the Cardinals offense's 46.3% conversion rate is tops in the NFL.

Player to Watch: Tyrann Mathieu

One of the most dynamic players on Arizona's defense is CB Tyrann Mathieu. That is saying something because Arizona's defense has a lot of dynamic playmakers. Mathieu is important for Arizona because he can play either safety or CB, and he's very good as a slot CB in the Cardinals sub packages. He has the skill set to cover, defend the run and blitz the passer.

Matchup to Watch: DE Everson Griffen vs. LT Jared Veldheer

Carson Palmer is the trigger man behind the Cardinals League-leading offense. To get to Palmer, you must get through his (very good) offensive line. The line is led by LT Jared Veldheer, a big-time free agent acquisition from the 2014 offseason. Veldheer led an OL last year that allowed just 28 sacks, and he was named the team's MVP for his efforts. If the Vikings are to bring down Arizona's high-flying passing attack, it will all start with their ability to pressure Palmer. The Vikings best weapon in doing so is Everson Griffen, the team's leader in sacks (7.5) and a player who presents a fair challenge to Veldheer.

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