Vikings-Cardinals matchup of the day: Saturday

Posted Oct. 08, 2011 @ 12:44 p.m.
Posted By Christian West

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

Vikings' front seven vs. Cardinals RB Beanie Wells

After getting off to a slow start in his career, Beanie Wells has come into his own this season. In three starts, he has 321 yards and five touchdowns, including 138 yards and 3 TDs last week against a good Giants defense. He's been running with power and getting to the second-level. His work in the redzone has been strong as well, just ask Giants CB Corey Webster, who was trucked on a Wells touchdown.

This week, Wells faces his stiffest test this season, as the Vikings are fifth in the league at stopping the run, holding opposing teams to 76.2 yards-per-game. The front seven is a big reason why.

E.J. Henderson attacks downhill and fills the gaps with strong tackles. Chad Greenway can flow sideline-to-sideline and is also a sure tackler. With Kevin Williams back from suspension, it's very hard for the offensive line to get movement at the line of scrimmage and get the guards or center into the second-level.

Even with that, expect the Cardinals to pound away with Wells. They need to slow the pass rush to take pressure off of Kevin Kolb. Plus, with Wells' size, he could wear down a defense with every carry he takes, creating opportunities for lapses and big runs in the fourth quarter.

In a matchup of two strengths, the winner between the two will go a long way to deciding the outcome of the game.