Arizona Cardinals could fare well during week-two matchup
Many fans of the Arizona Cardinals are expecting great things from the team this coming fall. A campaign consisting of double-digit victories could be on tap for an organization that hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2015. Wins in the NFL are hard to come by, however, and the Cards may have to wait until week two of the season to record their first triumph.
On September 19th, Arizona will play host to the Minnesota Vikings, a squad that finished last year with a disappointing 7-9 record. Many experts believed that head coach Mike Zimmer’s group would fare much better than they did in 2020. In fact, on paper at least, the Vikings appear to possess a roster that’s loaded with talent.
The Minnesota scoring attack was led by quarterback Kirk Cousins, a two-time Pro Bowl invitee. In 16 starts, the 32-year old accounted for an impressive 4,265 yards and 35 touchdowns. Cousins had the luxury of throwing to rookie Justin Jefferson and veteran Adam Thielen, a dynamic set of wideouts who combined for 2,325 receiving yards and 21 scores.
A lethal rushing attack was also a major component of the Vikings offense in ’20. Dalvin Cook, a second-round selection of the franchise back in 2017, is the star ball-carrier. The 5’10, 210 pounder led all NFC qualifiers with 1,557 rushing yards, and also tallied 17 total touchdowns (one receiving) for Minnesota.
On defense, the Vikings are led by linebacker Eric Kendricks (107 tackles, three interceptions) and safety Harrison Smith (89 tackles, five picks). The “Purple People Eaters” did lose linebacker Eric Wilson and safety Anthony Harris in free agency, a duo which contributed 226 tackles for the defensive unit last season. General manager Rick Spielman’s big offseason addition was eight-time Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson, a cornerback who had been with the Cardinals since 2011.
There’s no denying that Minnesota has an ample amount of firepower, but the Cards have a bevy of outstanding performers as well. State Farm Stadium will be rocking with it’s first sold-out crowd since 2019, and that will prove to be a huge advantage for the Redbirds. Cardinals 30, Vikngs 17.