The Arizona Cardinals won a thriller against the Minnesota Vikings in a game that came down to a last-second field goal attempt from the Vikings. In typical Vikings fashion, they missed the kick and Arizona won the game by one point, doing just barely enough throughout to win. Both teams had their ups and downs throughout the game, but the Cardinals were thought to be a clear favorite before the game. If it weren’t for a couple of missed kicks from Minnesota, Arizona would have lost. Let’s look at some Cardinals takeaways from this thrilling Week 2 win.
Cardinals Week 2 takeaways
1. This Cardinals defense will be inconsistent
Week 1 saw the Cardinals’ defense go all-out against the Tennessee Titans, with big turnovers and key sacks from guys like Isaiah Simmons and Chandler Jones. Derrick Henry was kept to 58 yards on 17 carries as Arizona shut down one of the best offenses in the league. With the Vikings coming in, the Cardinals were hoping for a repeat on defense against a similar team. Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry are interchangeable, similar to Kirk Cousins and Ryan Tannehill, as well as the two teams’ receiving duos.
Instead of having a repeat on defense, the Kirk Cousins-led Vikings came out rolling for an elite first half. Cousins didn’t turn the ball over and also didn’t see much of Chandler Jones or J.J. Watt. Dalvin Cook torched them for 131 yards on 22 carries despite suffering a couple injuries throughout.
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Overall, this Cardinals defense looks like it’s going to be hot and cold and inconsistent all season. That’s a lot better than being consistently bad, though.
2. Rondale Moore has his breakout game
The Cardinals seem to have found a future top receiver in rookie draft pick Rondale Moore. His Week 1 was impressive, but he outdid that by a lot in Week 2, carving up the Vikings for 114 yards on seven catches with a touchdown. Moore was the seventh receiver taken in the 2021 NFL Draft at 49th overall in the second round, and so far he looks to be an absolute steal for Arizona. The Cardinals could really use a reliable second receiver to be a true threat opposite of DeAndre Hopkins, and that could be Rondale Moore.
Moore had one huge play on a blown coverage, but his speed and athleticism on the field is unreal. The Minnesota defense had trouble staying with Moore all day long. Through two games, he already has 182 yards on 11 catches with a touchdown. As a kick returner and a wide receiver, the potential is absolutely there.
3. Chase Edmonds needs to be the No. 1 running back
The running game seems to be a three-way split in Arizona with Chase Edmonds, James Conner, and Kyler Murray all getting their rushing opportunities. In Week 2, we saw both Edmonds and Conner get eight carries, but the former looked so much better. He was more explosive, and that shows in the box score with Edmonds averaging 5.8 yards and Conner only averaging 3.2 yards. Through two games, it looks like the Cardinals are trying to unnecessarily force Conner to keep defenses on their toes, but Edmonds is just better.
This type of performance certainly isn’t new for Edmonds either. He’s now entering his fourth season in Arizona, and all of the last three have seen him average at least 4.6 yards per carry. Granted, he hasn’t exactly had a ton of carries, but with 97 carries last season he averaged 4.6 yards, so he deserves a chance. Conner was fine a few seasons ago, but at this point let’s just see what Edmonds can do as the lead runner for a season.