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Vikings-Cardinals matchup of the day: Thursday

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By Christian West

Here's a key matchup to watch in Sunday's Vikings-Cardinals game

Vikings QB Donovan McNabb vs. the Cardinals' secondary

If there was ever a week where Donovan McNabb could silence his critics and have a great game, it would be this one. The Cardinals are 26th in passing yards allowed (282.8 per game) and 23rd in the league in yards per attempt (8.0).

Vikings coaches continue to talk about wanting to get WR Bernard Berrian more involved in the deep passing game and this is the week to do it. In three of their four games, the Cardinals have given up at least one 30-yard pass play.

Rookie CB Patrick Peterson has been shaky in man coverage despite his tremendous physical gifts and second-year CB A.J. Jefferson hasn't been much better.

Look for the Vikings to throw more deep passes, simply because it's what McNabb does best: he can't consistently throw on 3rd-and-8 and get first-down completions. He has to strike quickly with the big play.

They did some of that with the play-action against the Chiefs. They need to do it against the Cardinals.

Berrian, or the guy who actually made a play on a deep ball last week, Devin Aromashodu, should have opportunities to make plays downfield this week. It's up to McNabb to exploit the deficiencies in the Cardinals' secondary and make plays.

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