5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Arizona Cardinals – Week 2

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Garrett Bradbury /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Minnesota will have five passes over 20 yards

Assuming the Vikings have a better day in terms of penalties, it could mean big things for the passing game. Zimmer said earlier in the week that the Cardinals prefer to be a single-high safety defense in order to stop the run. They did so last week in limiting Derrick Henry to 58 yards on 17 carries in their win over the Titans.

The Cardinals will likely have the same approach this week when they go up against Dalvin Cook. If Arizona can shut down the running game, it will allow Jones and Watt to pin their ears back and rush the passer, which could be bad news against the Vikings’ offensive line.

But if there’s a way to counter, it’s by throwing the ball downfield. Cousins averaged just 7.1 yards per attempt against the Bengals compared to 8.2 YPA over the past two seasons. While some of the short passes were forced by the third-and-long situations they faced, Cousins should have more opportunities to go deep on Sunday.

Although the Vikings are conservative on offense, Cousins was sixth in the NFL in passes over 20 yards last season. With one safety deep, it could allow Adam Thielen or Justin Jefferson to run free, which could create big plays for the offense.