NFL Week 2 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 34, Minnesota Vikings 33 | NFL News, Rankings and Statistics | PFF

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NFL Week 2 Game Recap: Arizona Cardinals 34, Minnesota Vikings 33

Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) celebrates a touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals took down the Minnesota Vikings, 34-33, in Week 2 after Vikings kicker Greg Joseph missed what would’ve been a game-winning 37-yard field goal.

Both offenses were impressive throughout, marching down the field with staggering precision. Quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Kirk Cousins combined for over 640 yards passing and six touchdowns.


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Arizona Cardinals

Quarterback

Kyler Murray continued his magical start to the season with another dominant performance in Week 2, finishing with 400 yards through the air, 31 yards on the ground and four total touchdowns. The former No. 1 overall pick averaged 10.8 yards per attempt while completing five of his six attempts beyond 20 yards for 181 yards and two touchdowns.

Target Depth Completions/Atts Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 8/8 34 100% 1
Short (1-9) 11/13 91 92.3% 0
Medium (10-19) 5/6 95 83.3% 0
Long (20+) 5/6 181 83.3% 2

*Pending Review

Running back

Chase Edmonds and James Conner continued to handle backfield responsibilities for the Cardinals, rushing for a combined 72 yards on an almost identical workload. Edmonds was significantly more effective in his opportunities, averaging 5.8 yards per carry, while Conner forced the team’s only two missed tackles.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Arizona’s wide receivers and tight ends found success down the field early and often, with five different Cardinals pass-catchers averaging over 10 yards per reception. The most effective of the bunch was rookie wide receiver Rondale Moore, who finished with a game-high 114 yards on seven receptions, including a 77-yard touchdown snag just minutes before halftime. Tight end Maxx Williams was also effective Sunday, collecting seven receptions for 94 yards and a team-high four first downs.

Receiver Receiving snaps Targets  Receptions  Yds/Yds After Catch 
DeAndre Hopkins 46 4 4 54/13
A.J. Green 36 5 3 44/17
Christian Kirk 31 4 3 65/4
Chase Edmonds 26 5 5 29/16
Maxx Williams 25 7 7 94/60
Rondale Moore 24 8 7 115/93

*Pending Review

Offensive Line

The Cardinals' offensive line was not at its best, allowing almost continuous pressure on Murray while failing to provide easy running lanes for either Edmonds or Conner. Arizona’s offensive line allowed 23 total pressures, including 12 quarterback hurries and three sacks. Arizona was also able to average only 2.5 rushing yards before contact.  

Defensive Line

The Cardinals' defensive line was responsible for eight of the team’s 12 pressures. Edge rusher Chandler Jones led the unit with three total pressures and one quarterback sack.

Linebackers

The Cardinals' linebacker unit struggled to find much success in curbing the Vikings’ running attack, allowing an average of 6.6 yards per run while simultaneously struggling to contain Cousins’ onslaught on the middle of the field. Jordan Hicks was one of the few standouts from the unit, racking up a team-best four quarterback hurries on just eight pass-rushing snaps.

Secondary

Arizona’s defensive backs allowed over 11 yards per completion, as Minnesota seemingly got whatever it wanted through the air. While the lack of pressure certainly didn’t help, the Cardinals' defensive backs were routinely bested. Cornerback Robert Alford was the unit’s standout, drawing a team-high six targets yet allowing a unit-low 84.0 passer rating into his coverage.

Minnesota Vikings

Quarterback

Kirk Cousins was effective from the opening snap, finishing the contest with 244 passing yards and three touchdowns on 22-of-32 passing. He found the majority of his success in the shorter and intermediate areas of the field, racking up 146 yards and two touchdowns on throws with a targeted depth between 1-19 yards. The 10-year pro also finished without a turnover-worthy play.

Target Depth Completions/Atts Yds Adj. Comp. % TDs
Behind L.O.S 6/7 34 100% 0
Short (1-9) 11/15 97 80% 0
Medium (10-19) 4/4 49 100% 2
Long (20+) 1/3 64 66.7% 1

*Pending Review

Running back

Dalvin Cook shredded the Cardinals' defense to the tune of 148 total yards — 131 of which came on the ground and 72 of which came after contact. He was characteristically difficult to bring down, accumulating a game-high nine missed tackles while collecting a team-best five explosive plays.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Minnesota’s aerial attack was electric from start to finish, as Cousins hit wide receiver K.J. Osborn for a 64-yard touchdown strike on the game’s second play. Justin Jefferson racked up 65 receiving yards and a touchdown on six receptions. Jefferson did the majority of his damage down the field, finishing with a team-high 13.4-yard average depth of target and a unit-best two forced missed tackles.

Offensive Line

The Vikings' offensive line was one of Minnesota’s highest performing units Sunday, keeping a clean pocket for Cousins while opening up massive running lanes for Cook. Minnesota allowed just three quarterback hits and one sack, while Vikings rushers as a whole accrued an impressive 127 total yards before contact.

Defensive Line

Minnesota’s defensive line limited much of Arizona’s rushing attack while getting consistent pressure on Kyler Murray. Edge defender Danielle Hunter was one of the Vikings' most impressive defenders, finishing with a team-high seven total pressures and three sacks after leading the team with 36 pass-rushing snaps.

Defender Pass-Rushing Snaps Pressures Sacks 
Danielle Hunter 36 7 3
D.J. Wonnum 35 4 0
Dalvin Tomlinson 23 3 0
Stephen Weatherly 22 5 0
Michael Pierce 21 1 0
Sheldon Richardson 19 0 0
Armon Watts 9 0 0
Eric Kendricks 4 2 0

*Pending Review

Linebackers

The Vikings' linebacker corps was hit or miss, negating a number of Cardinals rushing opportunities yet allowing the Arizona passing attack to flourish in the short and intermediate areas. Free-agent acquisition Nick Vigil continues to impress, returning one of Murray’s two interceptions for a touchdown while racking up eight tackles and making a pass deflection.

Secondary

Arizona repeatedly pushed the ball downfield against Minnesota's secondary. Starting cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Mackensie Alexander and Bashaud Breeland were tested early and often, finishing with 14 receptions conceded between the three on 14 targets.   

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