The Minnesota Vikings beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-17 at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon. Although the game was sloppy at times, the Vikings found a way to come out on top against a banged up Cardinals team.
After being questioned throughout the first five weeks of the season, the Vikings run game came alive against the Cardinals. Leading the way, Latavius Murray ran for 155 yards and a touchdown. Rookie running back Mike Boone was handed the ball one time, but he made the most of his opportunity with an impressive 20-yard run, that ended with him running over a Cardinal defender.
The rushing attack helped finish the game, while the defense looked much more comfortable for the second straight week. Zimmer had a variety of blitzes throughout the duration of the game, making rookie quarterback Josh Rosen look uncomfortable at times. Danielle Hunter had two sacks, keeping his streak of six straight weeks of taking the quarterback down alive. Harrison Smith and Mackensie Alexander also had sacks, bringing the Vikings total to four. Anthony Harris also jumped a Cardinal route, giving the Vikings one interception on the day.
During the first few weeks of the season, both Anthony Barr and Trae Waynes had gotten a lot of criticism about their play. However, during Sunday’s matchup, both players made a noticeable difference. Barr had a nice pass breakup early in the game, and also gave the Vikings one of their turnovers forcing a David Johnson fumble. Waynes yet again showed that he can be solid against the run, making a great play taking down a Cardinal lineman and David Johnson in the same motion.
The defense looked like they were back to their 2017 selves, while the offense looked shaky at times. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins had an average day, while turning the ball over twice and having numerous balls batted down in Sunday’s victory. Both turnovers can be linked back to the poor offensive line play, with one of the turnovers being a forced fumble for a Cardinal touchdown.
Even with the Vikings pass game not being as great on the stat sheet as it’s been throughout the first several weeks, Adam Thielen managed to have yet another 100-yard game. Thielen is by himself in the Super Bowl era with six straight games with 100 yards or more receiving to start of the season. Number 19 finished the day with 11 catches for 123 yards and a touchdown. On the season, Thielen is at 58 catches for 712 yards and 4 touchdowns. The 712 yards also sets a Vikings record through the first six games of any season.
Another interesting stat line from the game was Laquon Treadwell having more catches than Stefon Diggs. Treadwell finished the day with 4 catches for 38 yards while Diggs had 3 catches for 33 yards. Treadwell has gotten a lot of criticism for his dropped passes against the Packers, but he had a nice bounce back game today.
The Vikings may have dominated for the majority of the game, but a few mistakes kept the Cardinals hanging in there. Going to New York to play the Jets next week, Zimmer and the rest of his staff will more than likely sit down this week and try to find a way to get those mistakes cleaned up.
This was a big win for the Vikings, who are now looking to win three in a row heading to New York Sunday before a Sunday night rematch of the NFC Divisional round against the New Orleans Saints.