After getting their first win against the 49ers last weekend, the Cardinals lost in Minnesota to the Vikings. The Cardinals were the last team to win their first game, and they took advantage of a damaged 49ers team. Minnesota was definitely going to be a harder team to beat, and Arizona failed to do so. Rosen continues to stay efficient and is getting better with every start. The Vikings beat the Cardinals 27-17 to improve their record to 3-2-1, and Arizona falls to 1-5. Arizona’s offense keeps getting stopped by opposing defenses, and the Cardinals defense is doing everything it can to get a win. The defense did allow 195 rushing yards, but they only allowed 216 passing yards. The run defense needs to improve, but the pass defending is where the team shines. The offense has struggled to establish a good run game and has done better in the passing.
Unfortunately, the offense still is not clicking and everyone involved is under performing. David Johnson is having a terrible start to his season, by his standards. The offensive line is failing to open any holes, and Johnson just does not look comfortable. The team ranks as the worst team in the league in yards per game and rushing yards per game. They also rank 31st in points and passing yards. They have made changes, but it seems like something else is wrong. The Cardinals are done unless something drastic happens. Josh Rosen is a better passer than Sam Bradford, but the issue now seems to be the offensive line. The line has suffered injury after injury including Justin Pugh, Jeremy Vujnovich and Mike Iupati all leave during the game. The injuries on the line were most apparent when they
attempted to go for it on fourth down on the goal line, and the team had no penetration. The Cardinals were 0-10 on third down conversions, and David Johnson only had 55 rushing yards. The identity of this team is still in question, and no one on the coaching staff seems to have an answer. They can’t run, and they still really can’t pass. The Cards are getting a little better compared to where they were, but that isn’t saying much. The coaches need to open up the playbook more, get Johnson involved, let Rosen make plays and utilize the talent on this offense. They really shouldn’t be this bad.
Defensively, the Cardinals got gashed by the one of the worst rushing teams in the league. The Vikings average 87 rushing yards per game, and they ran for 195 against the Cards. The team forced two turnovers, including an interception and a strip sack that led to a defensive touchdown. They also got to Kirk Cousins four times and put pressure on the passing game. The biggest problem for the Cardinals was their run defense. The system they run changed when they got the new coach, and it seems to still be in the works. The defense is way better than the offense, but unfortunately, they have to continue to make plays while the offense fails to do much.
The Vikings were obviously the better team, and even after a win, it was going to take a miracle for Arizona to win. They played hard on defense and held the game close up until the third quarter where teams are outscoring them 42-0. The third quarter has killed the Cardinals in every game and after going into halftime only down three points, they could not stop the 14 points put up by the Vikings. There is still a lot to fix, and after this weekend the new problem appears to be the injuries at offensive line. The Cardinals spent a lot of money in the off season trying to improve that part of their team. Rosen will keep getting better, hopefully Johnson does too, and the defense will keep doing what they can to stay in the game. The Cards are in a bad position with their record, and in the NFC West they basically have no chance of coming back. Steve Wilks is not having a great first year, but I hope that if he stays with the team, they will get better. They really can only go up from here, right?