The Drive with Jody Oehler

The Drive with Jody Oehler

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Week 2 Prediction: Vikings @ Cardinals

So far, so good.

That applies to the Cardinals and my Cardinals game predictions. Last week I predicted multiple sacks for Chandler Jones and a double digit Cardinals win on the road against the Titans. Obviously, I can now predict the future.

So what is going to happen in the Cardinals immediate future in Week 2 against the Vikings?

Here's how I see things playing out at State Farm Stadium:

The Vikings are a the NFC version of the Tennessee Titans. Both teams have a defensive minded head coach, both teams are stacked with individual talent on offense, both team have QB's that settle in comfortably as nothing special but solid and both teams probably peaked two years ago.

Their similarities go beyond the big picture and into the 2021 matchup as well. Like the Titans, the Vikings OL is a major liability. Their pass blocking grades last week per Pro Football Focus were all well below average in four out of five positions. On the other side of the ball, the Vikings secondary is a major problem as well. Mackensie Alexander and Bashaud Breeland were awful last week with only Patrick Peterson performing at an acceptable NFL level.

Here's the difference between the Cardinals second week opponent compared to their first week opponent: The Vikings should be better prepared. Chandler Jones isn't going to be blocked by a single lineman. The Vikings secondary won't be flat footed when the Cardinals start their offensive assault. And the Vikings WR's won't take the Cardinals cornerbacks lightly.

And the Vikings are desperate. Its not quite their season at stake but it feels like Mike Zimmer's job may be at stake.

So I'd expect this game to play out a bit differently than last week.

Not too much differently, though. This Cardinals offense is like a great NBA team's offense - until you can prove to me that someone can stop it, I'm going to assume Kyler and Co will set the tone and be the difference maker.

I love AJ Green and Rondale Moore to have their turn piling up yards and TD's. I think JJ Watt and Markus Golden combine for a couple of sacks. And I think Kyler Murray emerges as the very early MVP favorite after another dynamic performance.

From a betting perspective, I'd be a little wary about Deandre Hopkins over of 88.5 yards this week, according to Draft Kings. Patrick Peterson might be an easy target for Cardinals fans but he was at his best last year against the Cardinals best WR's. He limited DK Metcalf, Stefon Diggs, Amari Cooper and Robert Woods to well below their season averages.

In the end, take the Cardinals money line to avoid a Vikings backdoor cover in the 4th quarter.

PREDICTION: Cardinals 37 Vikings 34

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