Minneapolis, MN- Nothing like a three game losing streak to remind us how hard it is to win in the NFL. Even after running out to a 4-0 start the Cardinals were hoping to get a much-needed win yesterday coming off two straight losses. Arizona is heading into the hardest stretch of their schedule, and a win in Minnesota would’ve given them some life support. LaRod Stephens-Howling showed up with that mindset, playing much bigger than his 5’7 body would suggest as he ran for 104 yards and a touchdown, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. The Cardinal’s burnout extended to three games as the Minnesota Vikings won, 21-14.
Adrian Peterson shed any doubt that he hasn’t recovered from his ACL injury and looked like he is once again the best back in the league. The Vikings fed AP All Day the ball all day proving his nickname correct and yesterday to be the first time all year this Cardinals defense was beaten physically. Peterson killed them on 23 rushes, running for 153 yards and TD. He played so well that despite a non-existent passing game (Christian Ponder- 8/17, 58 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT), Minnesota was in the driver’s seat for most of the game. The Cardinals virtually eliminated the Vikings passing game and were still unable to stop Peterson, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to greatness.
Even with all of Peterson’s runs, the Vikings only scored two touchdowns on offense and had the ball 10 minutes less than the Cards did. These stats speak to Arizona’s lack of ability to finish drives. The little nuances of the game, a dropped pass here or there, costly penalties; those are the things (plus a dogs**t offensive line) preventing them from putting up points. John Skelton had a pretty decent game by the numbers (25/36, 262 yds, 2 TD, 1 INT), but he threw a pick that was returned for a TD which was the difference in the score. Andre Roberts continues to have a breakout year, going for over 100 yards again and grabbing Skelton’s only touchdown, but Larry Fitzgerald had another uncharacteristically quiet game. If Skelton were able to connect with Fitz for a couple big gains like they usually do this might have been a different outcome, but the Vikings did a very good job at limiting Arizona’s All-World wideout and they deserve credit for that because it isn’t easy to do.
Despite Arizona’s much better performances running the ball the past two games, the offense continues to struggle mightly. Skelton had a few hiccups, one being very costly, but he showed some flashes throughout the game. The offense line didn’t surprise anyone by giving up another 6 sacks, so all things considered Skelton played OK. However, the offense needs to be better than OK in the next three weeks as they face three of the best teams in the NFC. If the Arizona doesn’t pull off at least one upset in that span consider the playoffs a funny pipe dream of the past. Things will only get tougher next week when the 49ers come to town, hopefully the fans will be tailgating early because this team needs our support.
About the Author
Written by Thomas Mitchell
Born & raised in Arizona, part of the MJ generation. Lifelong sports fanatic