After losing their past three games in the Metrodome, the Arizona Cardinals were looking for some revenge against the Minnesota Vikings. And it seems that second year QB Christian Ponder was willing to give it to him. He threw two critical interceptions in the first half, one of which the Cardinals capitalized on for a touchdown.
But the Cardinals were making plenty of errors themselves. Missed tackles, foolish penalties (including a hold on Darnell Dockett and pass interference calls on Patrick Peterson and William Gay) gave the Vikings multiple chances to score within the red zone. Adrian Peterson had 92 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in the first half alone.
Arizona needed to go in the locker room and make some adjustments, but unfortunately, they could not stop the red hot Vikes.
John Skelton looked off for most of the game, heating up just in time to make things interesting in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Even when the Vikings continued to give Arizona chances through turnovers and lack of conversions (Minnesota was 1/10 on 3rd down conversions), the Cardinals could never seem to take advantage of them.
Arizona's six sacks allowed really slowed their production, in my eyes. Brian Robison accounted for three of those himself going up against rookie right tackle Bobby Massie.
While Skelton struggled for a lot of the game, none of that was due to a lack of a running game. LaRod Stephens-Howling was absolutely sensational for the Cards, rushing for over 100 yards for the first time in his career. He also had 45 yards receiving and a rushing touchdown.
The defense played well for the most part, but could never put a halt to Adrian Peterson's campaign. His 153 yards rushing led all runners and assuredly helped quite a few people to a fantasy football victory on Sunday.
Taking Larry Fitzgerald out of the game was one of the biggest keys to the game for the Vikings and, for the most part, they were able to accomplish that. Fitz was held to just 4 receptions and a long of 16 yards on 7 targets.
Arizona has plenty of adjustments to make before the host the division leading San Francisco 49ers next Monday night. I would not be surprised if the starting offensive line looks a little bit different in the hopes of protecting John Skelton for the next game.