Five matchups that may determine the outcome of Thursday’s game:
Adrian Peterson, RB, #28 vs. Deone Bucannon, $B, #20
Todd Gurley’s 34-yard scamper on Sunday came when Bucannon over-committed to the inside run and couldn’t recover. Adrian Peterson leads the league in rushing, though his boom-and-bust running style (46% success rate is 20th among RBs) prevents the offense from keeping on schedule.
Matt Kalil, LT, #75 vs. Calais Campbell, DT, #93
Arizona’s Pro Bowl defensive end is on pace for the least productive season of his career. Kalil, who once seemed like one of the NFL’s most promising young tackles, has battled injuries the last few years and has surrendered 6 penalties and 4.5 sacks on the year.
Sharrif Floyd, DT, #73 vs. Ted Larsen, RG, #62
With 4.5 sacks last season, Floyd was beginning to establish himself as one of the league’s most disruptive interior defenders. The former first rounder has 1.5 sacks this year and can present a significant physical challenge to the interior offensive line.
Terence Newman, CB, #23 vs. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, #11
Old men playing football against each other.
Mike Zimmer, HC, vs. Bruce Arians, HC
Zimmer and Arians are two sides of the same coaching coin. Both coaches are ruthlessly aggressive in attacking opponents and have earned the love of their players. Both are exceptional at fundamental and situational football — this is a fantastic chess match.