NFL Predictions Week 5: Vikings Will Finally Get a Win Over Cardinals

Mike Nelson@Mike_E_NelsonCorrespondent IOctober 7, 2011

NFL Predictions Week 5: Vikings Will Finally Get a Win Over Cardinals

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    The Minnesota Vikings can beat the Arizona Cardinals Sunday at Mall of America Field.

    It’s do or die time for the Vikings (0-4). They have to beat the Cardinals Sunday or risk losing the season all together.

    This veteran latent crew is too proud and strong to go 0-5. But I’ve been proven wrong before. Here are four reasons why the Vikings will topple the Cardinals in Week 5.

Donovan McNabb's Last Stand

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    The Vikings brought McNabb to Minnesota this offseason because they wanted him to be the quarterback to lead them back to the postseason.

    Many of the pieces of the 2009 NFC Championship team were still in place, leading the organization to believe that if it had a quarterback in place that the team could at least compete for a playoff spot.

    At 0-4, the Vikings are LONG shots to have a winning record at this point let alone compete for a postseason berth.

    Discussions have already arisen about whether rookie Christian Ponder should replace McNabb. McNabb needs to play better. If he continues to play the way he has (154.8 yards passing per game, one touchdown per game and .5 interceptions per game) then Minnesota will lose. And with that loss, McNabb will lose his starting job.

    Look for a best McNabb of the 2011 season Sunday because he’s a proud man who doesn’t want to lose his job to a rookie.

Arizona's Weak Pass Defense

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    If the Minnesota passing game is to ever do anything in 2011, this is the week to do it.

    The Cardinals are nearly as bad as the Vikings against the pass in 2011. They are the 26th ranked unit against the pass (282.8 yards per game).

    Wide receiver Devin Aromashodu should get a greater look at replacing Bernard Berrian as Minnesota’s deep threat in Week 5 after a 34-yard touchdown reception in Week 4.

    This is the last call for the old Donovan McNabb to show up. The quarterback has been unimpressive in 2011. Coming back home against a weak pass defense is the time for him to put up or shut up.

Arizona Cannot Handle Adrian Peterson

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    Minnesota should have a strong advantage against any rush defense in the NFL with Adrian Peterson at running back.

    The trend will continue against Arizona.

    Arizona’s opposition averages 109.5 yards on the ground. Peterson averages 4.6 yards per carry and 94 yards on the ground himself.

    Minnesota has done a good job feeding him the ball in the first half but hasn’t kept that up in the second half.

    Peterson is the No. 1 playmaker on this team. If Minnesota hasn’t realized it needs to get the ball more in Peterson’s hands in the second half of games by Week 5, then the Vikings deserve to go 0-5.

Vikings Pass Rush Can Get to Kevin Kolb

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    Kevin Kolb isn’t on pace to break David Carr’s record for most sacks endured in one season (76). But it’s not like Kolb has stayed upright more often than not in 2011.

    Kolb’s been sacked 12 times through the first four games of the 2011 campaign, an average of three sacks per game.

    Minnesota is tied for the 11th most sacks in the NFL in 2011 (10). With defensive end Jared Allen on pace for a career year in sacks—he has 6.5 through the first four games which puts him on pace for a NFL single season record 26—and defensive end Brian Robison with 2.5 sacks—on pace for 10 in 2011— can get after quarterbacks with the best of them.

    Kolb could light up the 28th ranked pass defense in the NFL, but not if he’s consistently on his back like the Vikings did to Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in Week 3. They sacked him five times that game.