A week after shutting down Derrick Henry and the Tennessee Titans, the Arizona Cardinals defense wasn’t as impressive during their win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Had the Arizona Cardinals actually lost their Week 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings, most of the fingers likely would have been pointed at Arizona’s defense.
The Cardinals’ defense was excellent in a Week 1 blowout victory over the Tennessee Titans. But against the Vikings on Sunday, Arizona allowed their opponent to accumulate 419 total yards, including 177 on the ground, and 33 points.
The Cardinals also didn’t force any turnovers and they ended the afternoon with just one sack. After Sunday, it’s clear Arizona still has plenty of improvements to make on the defensive side of the ball.
Arizona Cardinals defense will get a chance to rebound in Week 3
There is no reason for the Cardinals to be happy with their defensive performance in Week 2. But the good news is that Arizona should be able to get things sorted out on the defensive side of the ball next weekend when they take on the 0-2 Jacksonville Jaguars.
After two weeks, the Jaguars currently rank 27th in points scored, 23rd in passing yards, and 26th in rushing yards. It’s still early enough in the season where Jacksonville could potentially figure things out and put up a bunch of points next week. But the way they played in their first two games doesn’t indicate that the Cardinals will be dealing with a high-powered offense in Week 3.
Despite the high amount of points and yards given up to Minnesota on Sunday, there were still some things to be happy with the way Arizona’s defense performed.
The Cardinals’ secondary held both Vikings pass-catchers Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen to less than 70 receiving yards, and the defense also prevented Minnesota from scoring an offensive touchdown in the second half.
Arizona’s rushing defense certainly needs some work after getting gashed by Dalvin Cook. However, Cook is one of the premier running backs in the NFL, so the Cardinals don’t have to worry about seeing a back of his caliber each week.
With no losses in their first two games of the 2021 season, there’s still more to be pleased with about Arizona than to complain about. But if the Cardinals want to insert themselves into being a legitimate NFC contender this year, their defense still has some work to do.