NFL Week 7: Cardinals’ mixed fortunes and Vikings offence impressing
Dave Burin | 17 October 2018
Odds and talking points on the Gridiron action
The play-off picture is beginning to emerge in the NFL, especially for fans of the Los Angeles Rams. But the only 6-0 franchise in the country can’t let up as they face state and divisional rivals San Francisco 49ers.
Ahead of another big weekend of Gridiron clashes, we delve into the major stories and deliver the odds…
Cardinals’ offence must finally match their defence
Ahead of this gameweek, Arizona Cardinals have the NFL’s joint-worst win ratio, sharing a 1-5 record with four other sides. But it hasn’t been the fault of the Cards’ defence.
They’ve given up a respectable 139 points in the opening six games (or 23.1 per game). For context, that’s fewer than every single side in the AFC West, and three teams in each of the AFC North and NFC South.
Arizona also boast two of the top five tacklers in the NFL this season. Budda Baker has managed 57, while it’s 53 for Antoine Bethea.
The issue up to now has been an anaemic offence, who’ve scored just 82 points so far. They have the perfect chance to rectify that stat against a leaky Denver Broncos side who’ve lost four on the trot – conceding 23 or more points each time.
Can Rams hold firm in all-California clash?
Last year’s 11-5 regular season record suggested LA Rams would be dark horses in this season’s Super Bowl.
But few expected them to chalk up six wins from six in NFL 2018. That stellar run has included a 38-10 win over Minnesota Vikings – the joint-highest points total the Vikings have conceded in any game since 2014.
However, recent outings have been more nervy affairs. The Rams needed a fourth-quarter comeback to win 33-31 in Seattle on Week Six, before clinging onto a 23-20 win in Denver last time out.
They can’t afford to get complacent away at the 49ers on Sunday. Kyle Shanahan’s side have lost four on the spin, but several of those games have been very close. This could be a good test of the Rams’ composure.
Cousins and Thielen beginning to motor for Vikings
This season did not begin in ideal fashion for the Vikings. As mentioned, there was that defeat in Los Angeles, as well as a shock 27-6 home defeat to Buffalo Bills. But after back-to-back wins, Mike Zimmer’s men finally seem to be clicking as expected.
That’s thanks largely to the performances – and link-up between – Quarterback Kirk Cousins and Wide Receiver Adam Thielen.
Cousins has thrown for a massive 1,921 yards across the first six games, producing at least one Touchdown in each of those games – including four against Green Bay Packers.
As for Thielen, he leads the entire NFL for receiving yards right now – turning his 712 yards into four TDs. With that in mind, the Vikings should prove too strong for New York Jets this weekend.
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