Scouting report Arizona Cardinals at Vikings
Sunday, noon, at U.S. Bank Stadium (Ch. 9, 100.3-FM)
About The Cardinals
• The Cardinals (1-4) got their first victory of the season, 28-18, over the 49ers on Sunday in San Francisco. Rookie quarterback Josh Rosen, in his second NFL start, completed a 75-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie receiver Christian Kirk on his first pass.
• Rosen, the 10th overall pick out of UCLA, has completed less than half his passes for 386 yards, two touchdowns and an interception since making his debut in relief of former starter Sam Bradford in Week 3. Bradford, the ex-Viking, has since been demoted to the Cardinals’ No. 3 quarterback.
• Defensive end Chandler Jones’ four sacks lead the Cardinals and are tied for 11th in the league through five weeks. Jones, the former New England Patriots pass rusher, has the third-most sacks (68) since entering the NFL in 2012, trailing only Von Miller and J.J. Watt.
• The Cardinals defense allowed 447 yards in beating San Francisco but forced five turnovers — three fumble recoveries and two interceptions — including a strip-sack by Jones and another strip-sack leading to a 23-yard return for a touchdown by linebacker Josh Bynes.
Player To Watch WR Larry Fitzgerald jr.
• Fitzgerald, the Minneapolis-born future Hall of Famer, ranks third on the career receiving list with 15,721 yards. He trails No. 2 Terrell Owens by 213 yards. He has 17 catches for 176 yards this season.
• Fitzgerald, 35, would need to play into his 40s to catch Jerry Rice’s record, which he trails by more than 7,000 yards.
•Vikings coach Mike Zimmer on defending Fitzgerald: “He lines up so many different places. He’s always been a tough matchup, but they’ve got [J.J.] Nelson as a big speed guy. [Christian] Kirk is another big-time speed guy. They’ve got a lot of weapons. [Tight end Jermaine] Gresham was with me in Cincinnati.”
•Cardinals coach Steve Wilks on Fitzgerald: “Everything that you see, as advertised, is totally true. Just a real pro. … Even 15 years in, the way he practices is unbelievable. Just a great role model for the young guys. He’s a pillar of not just our community, but the NFL as a whole. I’m just glad, as a first-year head coach, to have someone like that on the team.”
Coach Speak | Steve Wilks
• Wilks, the former Panthers assistant coach, fielded a borderline top-10 defense during his lone season as defensive coordinator in 2017. Wilks has previously coached defensive backs for the Bears, Chargers and Panthers.
• Opposing offenses have been able to march on Wilks’ Cardinals defense through five games. Arizona is allowing 25.4 first downs per game, third most in the NFL ahead of only the Falcons and Chiefs. Running backs have fared particularly well. The Cardinals have allowed a league-high eight rushing touchdowns so far.
• On the challenge rookie QB Josh Rosen faces in the Vikings defense: “[Mike] Zimmer is notorious for different looks, so I’m sure he’s going to bring pressure from every angle. We just have to do a great job of picking it up and trying to find the open receiver.”
• On how ex-Vikings QB Sam Bradford has handled being benched: “I … commended him on just being a pro. You get guys like that who go into the tank, quick speaking, get a little sheltered. He’s been a great mentor for Josh.”