In the NFL, the third preseason game is where the starters play the most and is traditionally a dress rehearsal for teams around the league, and for the Minnesota Vikings, it will be no different when they host the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.
Thus far this preseason, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has led the team on only three drives, two of those drives ended in points, and on Saturday, he expects to play longer, which will help just in case the team gets off to a slow start against Arizona.
“I think the challenge with the first two games is if you don’t start fast, don’t play well early, you feel like you had a horrible game, and in reality if you play four quarters maybe you don’t, it just took you longer to get going,” Cousins said on Thursday. “So the nice thing with the third game is you have a little bit larger sample size in case you don’t start fast, but certainly we hope to and expect to start fast.”
Cousins and his teammates want to treat this game like it’s a regular season contest, and hopes that it will better prepare the team for Week 1 when they host the Atlanta Falcons.
“We want to put together a good showing against their starters with a longer amount of time on the field,” Cousins said. “It’ll be great to be at home and get familiar with that since Week 1 will be at home as well. Just similar to the others, it’s a dress rehearsal, but we’re going to treat it as a game and do all we can to be ready so then come Week 1, we’ve worked through as many possible scenarios as we can.”
The essential thing in the preseason is to avoid injuries, and while you want to look sharp, the most important thing is to stay healthy. Last season, in preseason game number three, Cousins played the whole first half, so expect something similar against the Cardinals on Saturday night.