Holding on to a 20-17 halftime lead, the Minnesota Vikings got the football first, as they deferred to the second half after winning the coin toss. Chandler Catanzaro booted it deep for the Arizona Cardinals, and Cordarrelle Patterson got to do Cordarrelle Patterson things with the football. In this case, that means he took it back 104 yards for a Minnesota touchdown! Kai Forbath added the extra point, and just 13 seconds into the second half, the Vikings were up by ten points again, 27-17.
Forbath's kickoff went into the end zone for a touchback, and so the Cardinals started at their own 25-yard line. Carson Palmer and company couldn't get anything going on offense, and wound up going three-and-out. Drew Butler punted it away, and Marcus Sherels called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 24-yard line.
Stefon Diggs got his first catch of the afternoon for 9 yards to start the drive, and a 10-yard run by Jerick McKinnon netted a first down for the home team. A penalty on Arizona gave the Vikings a first down into Arizona territory at the 45, but Jerick McKinnon got stuffed on a Wildcat run on first down to stall the drive. Sam Bradford found Adam Thielen for a 10-yard gain, and the Vikings found themselves facing 4th-and-3 at the Arizona 38. Mike Zimmer, after burning a timeout, elected to go for it, but Bradford's pass fell incomplete and Arizona took over on downs.
Fortunately, the gamble didn't come back to haunt the Vikings, as Brian Robison got a sack of Carson Palmer on third down to force a three-and-out from the Cardinals' offense. Butler came in to punt it away again, and Marcus Sherels got a return of 11 yards to the Minnesota 29 for the next drive to start.
Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn't do anything when they got the ball back. It appeared that Bradford had found Adam Thielen for a first down into Cardinals' territory, but he got called for offensive pass interference to negate it. Jeff Locke came on to punt the ball away, and John Brown returned the ball to the Arizona 31 to set up the next drive for the visitors.
That next drive came to an abrupt end, thanks to Xavier Rhodes. He intercepted Palmer again on a great diving interception, his second of the afternoon, on a deep pass that he reeled in at the Minnesota 16-yard line. Palmer overthrew his intended receiver, Michael Floyd, and Rhodes laid out beautifully to pick it off.
The Vikings picked up a first down to start the drive, and then Markus Golden was called for roughing the passer on Sam Bradford to tack on 15 yards. On the next play, the Cardinals went after Bradford again, as Patrick Peterson took a shot at him when he was lined up wide in the Wildcat. That moved the ball all the way down to the Arizona 34-yard line. The Cardinals followed that up with another personal foul penalty on Tony Jefferson to take the ball to the 8-yard line for a first-and-goal. Unfortunately, all the Vikings could manage was a field goal, as the Cardinals got a stop and the Vikings had to call on Kai Forbath for his first field goal attempt as a Viking. He was good from 27 yards, and the Vikings extended their lead to 30-17.
Forbath's kickoff went for a touchback, and as we move to the fourth quarter of play, the Cardinals are looking at a 2nd-and-4 from their own 31-yard line.
We have fifteen minutes of football remaining at U.S. Bank Stadium, folks, and the Vikings are currently leading the Cardinals by a score of 30-17. Can they hold on and snap this losing streak they're on?