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Vikings' Diggs has Arizona's attention

MINNEAPOLIS -- Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is coming off a record stretch, but Arizona coach Bruce Arians has plan to slow him down. "Put Patrick Peterson on him and hope that works," Arians said Wednesday. The Cardinals face the Vikings o...

Nov 13, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) runs with the ball as Washington Redskins cornerback Kendall Fuller (38) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 26-20. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 13, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) runs with the ball as Washington Redskins cornerback Kendall Fuller (38) chases in the fourth quarter at FedEx Field. The Redskins won 26-20. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS - Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs is coming off a record stretch, but Arizona coach Bruce Arians has plan to slow him down.

"Put Patrick Peterson on him and hope that works," Arians said Wednesday.

The Cardinals face the Vikings on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Last weekend, second-year receiver Diggs became the first player in NFL history to have 13 or more catches in consecutive games.

He had 13 grabs for 80 yards against Detroit on Nov 6, then caught 13 passes for 164 yards against the Redskins.

Peterson, though, will provide a challenge. The cornerback made the Pro Bowl in each of his first five seasons, and three times has been All-Pro.

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"Obviously, Patrick is a great player; he's one of the best cornerbacks in the league," said Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford. "But I think Diggs is a really good receiver, as well. So, when a team does choose to match their best cover corner against our best receiver, then I think it's going to be a great matchup. It's going to be fun to watch."

Head coach Mike Zimmer vowed to be prepared. There are "different ways," he said, "of getting guys off of guys, too."

Diggs is tied for fourth in the NFL with 61 receptions while Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, a Minneapolis native, is second with 68. Still, there could be more defense on display Sunday than offense.

The Cardinals are second in the NFL in total defense, one spot ahead of the Vikings. Minnesota leads the league in scoring defense, two spots ahead of the Cardinals. Arians said expecting a defensive struggle would be "a good bet."

"I've always respected Zim as one of the most sound, aggressive defensive coaches that I've ever gone against. ... They don't beat themselves," he said. "I think our defense, our defensive line is playing at a very high level right now. I think both offensive lines have their work cut out for them."

Arians and Zimmer were rivals in the AFC North. Their teams played twice each season between 2007-11, when Arians was Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator and Zimmer was Cincinnati's defensive coordinator.

The Cardinals and Vikings met last December, with Arizona winning 23-20 at home in Week 14. The next week, the Cardinals won 40-17 at Philadelphia, which then featured Bradford. He completed 28 of 41 passes for 361 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Now with the Vikings, Bradford is ready to again test the Cardinals' defense.

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"They're good in about every area," he said. "Up front, they're solid. They're great against the run. You know they do a good job of rushing the quarterback. ...They're great in coverage, as well. So, I think this is going to be one of our biggest challenges of the year, probably the best group that we've faced."

Related Topics: FOOTBALL
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