Will the Arizona Cardinals leave Minnesota on a two-game win streak this Sunday?
The early line favors the Vikings at minus 10.5 points over the Cardinals. Several writers have unanimously picked the Cardinals to lose against them. But will Josh Rosen make them walk back their predictions?
Check out what the writers and sites are predicting for Sunday’s game.
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azcentral sports: Vikings 30, Cardinals 16
Bob McManaman writes: “Although the Vikings don’t look like the playoff team many insiders predicted, they certainly look like the better team in this matchup and if the Cardinals are to have any hope at all, they’re going to need three to four players step up and making some game-changing plays that can’t be countered. That’s a tall order, to be sure, but there probably will be a game or two that the Cardinals surprise and find a way to win. I just don’t see it happening this week.”
Steven Ruiz writes: “That’s an awfully big line and the Cardinals look like a different team with Josh Rosen at quarterback. But I’m not about to take a rookie quarterback on the road against a Mike Zimmer-coached defense. Not with that supporting cast Rosen has to work with.
Charles Curtis writes: “I took a lot longer to make this pick than I should have, simply because I had flashbacks to the last time the Vikings had a humongous spread against the Bills. But I’m with Steven — Rosen will struggle.”
Elliot Harrison writes: Super excited about the Cardinals’ one-game winning streak. Really great for them, because it ends this week. The Vikings emerged from whatever morass they were wedged in back in September. Offensively speaking, Kirk Cousins-to-Adam Thielen is the most unstoppable duo in the league right now. Dalvin Cook (hamstring) should be back in the fold at tailback this week, too. Defensively, the pass rush made Carson Wentz move around and rush a few throws at the Linc last week. Think about how they will handle a middling Arizona offensive line. I keep trying to find a way for the Cards to prevail up North. Got it: They need David Johnson to rush for 250 yards and three touchdowns. Next blurb.
Ryan Wilson writes: “If first-year coach Steve Wilks has a plan, it’s not obvious to us. He continues to misuse David Johnson, refuses to play former first-round pick Deone Bucannon, and he waited until the final two minutes of a close Week 3 game against the Bears to give rookie quarterback Josh Rosen his first regular-season action. Taken together, the Cardinals are 1-4, the lone win coming Sunday against a 49ers team ravaged by injuries. The Vikings, meanwhile, appear to be finding their form. After tying the Packers (in a game they should’ve lost) and then getting trounced at home by the Bills, Minnesota bounced back with a road victory over the Eagles. Kirk Cousinslooked worth every penny of his $85 million guaranteed deal, completing all manner of contested throws for 301 yards and a 109.6 passer rating. Unless the Cards can replicate what the Bills did in Week 3, they’ll likely head back to Arizona with loss No. 5.”
Vinnie Iyer writes: “After the Bills debacle, the Vikings probably will not take lightly another double-digit underdog quarterbacked by a rookie named Josh. Minnesota’s defense got its groove back in Philadelphia, and offensively, Kirk Cousins will stay hot with a little more help from the running game.”
Chris Roling writes: “The Vikings are 1-2-1 over their last four, including a 27-6 blowout to the Buffalo Bills and a 38-point allowance to the Los Angeles Rams. It’s hard to say which Vikings team will show up, but it’s clear the defense, a one-dimensional offense (226 pass attempts, 96 rushes) and ineffective running game means 11 touchdowns and two interceptions from Kirk Cousins doesn’t equate to much. The strength of a Mike Zimmer-led team was always going to be defense, so it’s a red flag his unit ranks 23rd while allowing 26.2 points per game. The Vikings might still get the win at home, but Rosen and a developing attack have enough juice to beat an overzealous spread.
It writes: “If the Vikings show up to this game with 100-percent intensity, they’ll have a decent chance to cover this large spread. Cousins has been terrific, while Rosen will have a very difficult time in such a difficult environment. However, the Vikings have plenty of things that are wrong with them right now, particularly with their offensive line and back seven. Also, can they play up to their full potential after pulling an upset in Philadelphia in what happened to be a revenge rematch of the NFC Championship? We’ve seen them take one rookie quarterback lightly, and that could happen once again. It’s highly doubtful that Minnesota will take the 1-4 Cardinals very seriously. With that in mind, I’m going to pick the Cardinals to stay within single digits.”
Andrew Jett writes: Arizona didn’t look like much coming out of the gate, and sure they’ve got their share of issues right now, but a 10-point win over anyone (even a bad Niners team) is a step in the right direction. Not to mention it was the first time the Cards have scored over 17 points this year. As for the Vikes, they’ve put up a couple of real duds this year—most notably six points against the lowly Bills—but oddly enough still have a legitimate chance at competing for a wide-open NFC North title. The line on this one is pretty thick though, and I don’t really like taking chances with the favorites on games like that. I’m going Cardinals to cover.