Maybe no team looked better in Week 1 of the NFL season than the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray. They could be a sleeper pick to win the NFC this year. Here’s a look at their matchup vs. Minnesota in Week 2 and one other marque game with NFL odds.
2021 NFL Regular Season – Week 2 Matches To Wager On & Cash In
Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals (-4.5)
The Cardinals completely dominated the Titans in Nashville on Sunday, 38-13. quarterback Murray passed for 289 yards with a career-high four touchdowns and one interception for a 121.0 rating and added a rushing touchdown, while linebacker Chandler Jones totaled a career-high five sacks with two forced fumbles.
Murray looked like a newer version of the quarterback he was in the first half of last season when Arizona started 5-2. He ran when needed, making defenders miss and finishing plays with his feet. Murray has four career games with at least three touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown, tied with Josh Allen (four games) and Jack Kemp (four) for the most such games by a player in his first three seasons in NFL history.
“Man, he won the game,” wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins said. “At the end of the day, it says W or a loss. He had five touchdowns. He prepared like he was going to have five touchdowns. He demanded everybody else to be on their A-game. When we messed up, Kyler was the first one on us. I expected that out of him the way he’s prepared this offseason.”
Jones became the third player to record at least five sacks in a Week 1 game since 1982, when the individual sack became an official statistic, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (six sacks in 1998) and Bill Gay (5.5 sacks in 1983). He is the sixth player to record at least five sacks and two forced in a single game since 2002.
Jones tied the franchise record for sacks in a game set by Haason Reddick last season against the Giants. Jones, who had two games (Weeks 7 and 16) with four sacks during the 2019 season, is the fourth player since 1982 with three career games with at least four sacks, joining Thomas (four games) and Reggie White (three), as well as Leslie O’Neal (four).
Minnesota was upset 27-24 in OT at Cincinnati. Minnesota racked up 116 yards on 12 penalties. Outside of a 26-yard pass interference penalty on cornerback Bashaud Breeland, the rest of those infractions were called on the offense. The Vikings were flagged for false starts and offensive holding 11 times, which was their most such penalties in a single game since at least 2000.
“We’ve just gotta clean up the penalties. When you have 10 penalties in the first half – 14, I think, and four of them were turned down, you put yourself in a bad situation where you have to throw the ball, and that’s not how we’re built,” Coach Mike Zimmer said.
He pointed out that of Minnesota’s eight punts, six were on fourth-and-9 or longer. All day, the Vikings worked to dig themselves out of a hole. And when they had nearly righted the ship, a controversial fumble call on Dalvin Cook in overtime led to a Bengals game-winning field goal.
Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)
Dallas is on a few days extra rest after losing 31-29 at Tampa Bay on Thursday night in Week 1. Dak Prescott completed 42-of-58 passes for 403 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Making his first start following last year’s catastrophic leg break and this summer’s shoulder woes, Prescott tied his career high for attempts. Going back to Week 2 of the 2020 season, Dak has thrown for 400 yards or more in four of his last five games. He’s the first NFL passer to achieve this.
The Cowboys played the opener without All-Pro guard Zack Martin, and he’ll play in this one. However, receiver Michael Gallup has landed on injured reserve and right tackle La’el Collins is suspended for five games for failing to show up for drug tests, pending an appeal.
Under the NFL’s rules, Gallup likely wouldn’t be eligible for return until the Oct. 10 game against the Giants in Week 5. Gallup is dealing with a calf injury he suffered in the second half of the Bucs game. He had four catches for 36 yards. Last Thursday was Collins’ first start since 2019 after missing all of last season due to a hip injury requiring surgery. He has returned healthy from the injury this year, though he did miss a few days late in training camp with a neck stinger. Collins will be eligible to return to the Cowboys’ active roster on Monday, Oct. 18, following the team’s Week 6 game at New England.
The Chargers won 20-16 at Washington in Week 1 in a minor upset. Justin Herbert completed 31-of-47 passes for 337 yards and a touchdown.
The second-year quarterback was clutch on third downs, completing 13 of 16 passes for 160 yards and converting 11 first downs. He continually threw receivers open and faced little pressure from the Football Team’s front seven. Herbert’s day would have been far better if not for a controversial fumble near the end zone and an end zone drop by Mike Williams.
Herbert became the only quarterback in NFL history to have 400 completions over the first 16 starts of a career. He also joined Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes as the only players ever with 4,500 passing yards over their first 16 starts. In nine of his 16 career starts, Herbert has thrown for over 300 yards. 3) Keenan Allen and Mike Williams combined for 17 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown on 25 targets. It was Allen’s 28th career 100-yard game. Williams caught a career-high eight passes.
- Cardinals and Chargers