NFL 2014 Preseason Preview: Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings

NFL Preseason 2014 Preview: Arizona Cardinals vs. Minnesota Vikings

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals will travel to Minnesota this Saturday to face the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium in a Week 2 preseason matchup. Both teams come into this game with records of 1-0 so far this preseason. With positional battles heating up and roster cuts becoming more prevalent, this game could prove to be very important for a number of players on each roster.

Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel has already been named the starter this week over rookie Teddy Bridgewater, and it is likely a safe bet that he will see more time on the field this week than last week. Cassel played just one series last week, leading the Vikings down the field for the team’s only touchdown.

A successful start from Cassel could very well end the quarterback competition in Minnesota, given Bridgewater’s rookie mistakes last week against the Oakland Raiders and his reportedly poor performances this week.

Last week showed that head coach Mike Zimmer is not afraid to play the young guys over veterans. Rookies Brandon Watts, Jabari Price and Shamar Stephen all played well and will look to build on that effort this week. On the other side, rookie Scott Crichton and Bridgewater are hoping to play better in their second NFL game.

The wide receiver position will likely be trimmed in the coming days, as the Vikings currently carry 12 on their roster. This could be the last chance for players such as Erik Lora, Kain Colter and Rodney Smith to make a case for a roster spot.

On the Cardinals side of the football, the tight end position is arguably the biggest positional battle to keep an eye on. Rookie Troy Niklas and former Viking John Carlson are currently listed on top of the depth chart, but this has the possibility of changing with a strong performance from Rob Housler.

While Carson Palmer is the definitive No. 1 quarterback in Arizona, rookie Logan Thomas had a strong debut against the Houston Texans, despite being listed fourth on the depth chart. Thomas will attempt to build on a strong effort, hopefully pushing Drew Stanton out of the No. 2 spot on the depth chart and solidifying his status as the quarterback of the future in Arizona.

This game will also mark a homecoming of sorts for a couple of Cardinals, as wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd are both Minnesota natives. Floyd also played college football at Notre Dame with Vikings safety Harrison Smith, which could make for a fun matchup to keep an eye on.

With much more at stake for a number of players, Week 2 of the preseason should be exciting. This matchup between the Cardinals and Vikings should be a good one, as both teams are looking more and more like dark horse contenders this season.

Robert Reidell is a Minnesota Vikings Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+

Arizona Cardinals Tickets for this game are averaging $69 according to Razorgator, up by $30 from their first preseason game against the Houston Texans.


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