The Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals’ numbers on offense through five games couldn’t be much different. While Kirk Cousins is having a career year, the Cardinals rank at the bottom of the NFL in nearly every offensive category.
Arizona sits second to last in points, last in yards and second to last in team passer rating. However, the Cards have turned to rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, who defeated the San Francisco 49ers 28-18 last Sunday.
“He’s got a big-time arm, very smart, knows where to go with the football, and uses his legs to move on occasion,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said of Rosen. “He throws a really good deep ball.”
The former UCLA quarterback has only combined for 350 yards in his first two starts along with two touchdowns and one interception.
But Zimmer said the Cardinals have players who have the capability to be dangerous, starting with Larry Fitzgerald.
“He’s always been a tough matchup, but [J.J.] Nelson is a big speed guy, [Christian] Kirk is another big-time speed guy,” Zimmer said. “They’ve got a lot of weapons. [Jermaine] Gresham was with me in Cincinnati, and the other tight end, [number] 86 [Ricky Seals-Jones], is an athletic guy. Their team has a whole lot of team speed.”
Kirk, a rookie from Texas A&M, has been the team’s most effective receiver, catching 19 passes for 234 yards and a 75-yard touchdown.
While Fitzgerald only has 17 receptions so far, he’s always presented a challenge for the Vikings. He has 50 receptions in eight career games against Minnesota.
“I think he’s not one of those rah-rah guys, he’s just tries to do his job the best he can for his team,” Zimmer said. “Runs great routes, has great hands, excellent blocker.”
Fitzgerald has a hamstring injury, leaving his status is up in the air for Sunday.
In the run game, David Johnson hasn’t been the fantasy phenom that he has been in the past, grabbing just 15 passes so far and only averaging 3.3 yards per carry.