Cardinals fail to convert on third down against the Vikings

Oct 14, 2018, 1:06 PM | Updated: Oct 15, 2018, 7:48 am
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass as he is pressured by Minnesota Vikings ...
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws a pass as he is pressured by Minnesota Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly (91) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
(AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The Arizona Cardinals came into their Week 6 matchup with the second-worst third down conversion rate in the NFL at 25.4 percent. That percentage was made worse on Sunday as the Cardinals failed to convert a single third down on 10 attempts against the Minnesota Vikings.

It led to a 27-17 loss, moving the Cardinals record on the season to 1-5.

“Zero-for-10 on third down, continue to be our nemesis there,” Steve Wilks said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station after the loss.

Quarterback Josh Rosen was 21-for-31 for 240 yards and no touchdowns, while running back David Johnson was held to just 55 yards rushing on 18 attempts.

The offense was held out of the end zone until the 6:57 mark of the fourth quarter and forced into two turnovers, a Rosen interception and a Johnson fumble.

On the Cardinals’ first third down attempt of the game, Rosen overthrew a tightly-covered Larry Fitzgerald. Rosen came into the game with a completion percentage of just 49.2 percent.

“I thought he did some great things,” Wilks said. “Again, we’ve got to do a much better job of protecting him, allowing him to be able to go through his progression. We moved the pocket early on, we’ve got to continue to do some things like that to help him out.”

The Cardinals were also 0-for-2 on fourth down in the game, electing to try to score on a fourth and goal from the two yard line in the second quarter.

Big plays were not an issue for the Cardinals as Ricky Seals-Jones, Christian Kirk and Jermaine Gresham all had receptions of more than 25 yards.

Improving on third down could also help the Cardinals in the time of possession category as the Vikings held on to the ball for nearly 10 more minutes than the Cardinals in the contest.

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