Adrian Wilson & Adrian Peterson (Getty)
The Arizona Cardinals suffered a 35-14 loss to the Minnesota Vikings who left the home team in the dust early on. The Vikings had more to gain from a win in Sunday's ball game, but the Cardinals failed to expel the notion that they won't go far in the post season. Amberly Richardson wraps up all the action from University of Phoenix Stadium.
The Arizona Cardinals appeared amateur in their 35-14 defeat at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. The Cardinals could have earned a higher playoff seed, jumping from fourth to third. Instead, Minnesota made itself at home racking up 28 points in the first half, which handed the Cardinals their biggest half time deficit of the season.
Touchdowns from Bernard Berrian (twice), Sidney Rice, Chester Taylor and Bobby Wade left the Cardinals scratching their heads. The final margin marked Tarvaris Jackson's best game of his three-year career, thanks to four touchdown passes.
Arizona trailed in every facet on Sunday. Kurt Warner and show were kept to 316 all-purpose yards (156 in first half) on 61 plays. The Vikings kept the ball for almost 10 more minutes than Arizona. Jackson utilized his ground game, rushing 239 yards and passing for just 157. Adrian Peterson racked up 165 yards against the Cardinals.
The Cardinals were the polar opposite as the boys in red looked black and blue with 43 rushing yards and 273 passing yards.
Defensively, Jared Allen was a beast getting Warner to the ground (twice). In the secondary, Benny Sapp took care of five tackles as did Antoine Winfield.
The Cardinals made some necessary half time adjustments to get back in the race, but it was a day late and a buck short.
Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald were expected to take a back seat as they prepare for the post season, but were needed big time on Sunday. Boldin nor Fitzgerald could get the job done though.
The Cardinals used their second and last challenge within 10 minutes of the game due to a Boldin fumble. The ruling on the field stood and the play set the Vikings up for prime field position. Rice jogged in a 6-yard pass for the touchdown.
Field position was also an issue with no thanks to Ben Graham who was punting line drives including a punt that Berrian returned for 82 yards and the game's opening score.
Warner crossed his fingers and went for redemption in the second half. He went three for three with a pair of passes to Steve Breaston and a 50-yard pass to Jerheme Urban for the Cardinals' first touchdown.
The Cardinals offense was finished for the day, but their defense wasn't. Following Urban's socre, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie was in it to win it with a beauty of a pass block that Roderick Hood picked up and hauled in 68 yards for the TD.
Arizona's fun would stop there as Warner felt the brunt of Allen once again. The Vikings totaled four sacks. The Cardinals would finish with three on Jackson. Darnell Dockett, Antonio Smith and Chike Okeafor were the players to sack Jackson.
Matt Leinart had a good time as he saw his first action since week two. Leinart went three for five, which was good for 28 yards.