3 favorable matchups for the Vikings in Week 2 vs. the Cardinals

(Photo by Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn
(Photo by Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) K.J. Osborn /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Dalvin Cook /

Minnesota’s rushing attack vs. Arizona’s defense

Cincinnati did a great job slowing down Dalvin Cook in the run game and forcing Cousins to make plays through the air. Cook rushed for just 61 yards on 20 carries in his season debut and that needs to change if the Vikings want to win games. The Cardinals can run the ball as well as anyone, going for 136 yards on 33 attempts in Week 1.

Chase Edmonds was their leading rusher in Tennessee, but James Conner and Kyler Murray are both respectable carriers as well. Dalvin Cook needs to set the tone and get his legs ready for a big afternoon on Sunday. Minnesota has a chance if the Vikings can control the clock and force Kyler to throw a bit more than he wants.

The problem with getting the run game established is that the Cardinals are very stout up front. They limited the Titans to just 86 rushing yards on 22 carries with Derrick Henry racking up just 58 yards on 3.4 yards per carry.

Arizona’s defensive line is going to cause problems for the Vikings all day. Chandler Jones recorded five sacks in Week 1 against a much better left tackle than Rashod Hill. Dalvin has to keep that group honest.

Winning the rushing and clock battles will be key in this one. The Vikings cannot afford to abandon the run and hope Cousins can throw for 350 yards for the second straight week.