It took the Minnesota Vikings a little while to get going on Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals, but they eventually did enough to put together a winning streak for the first time this season.
The Vikings turned a strong second half into their second consecutive victory, holding off a feisty Cardinals team to earn a 27-17 victory in Week 6 action at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Arizona got on the board first in this one, courtesy of a 26-yard field goal by Phil Dawson, taking a 3-0 first quarter lead. The Vikings took the lead on their next drive, getting a score from a somewhat unlikely source.
Great blocking by the tight ends and a wicked stiff arm set up the first rushing touchdown of the season pic.twitter.com/FoYhZNN6O6— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 14, 2018
Latavius Murray became the first Viking to score a rushing touchdown this year, thanks to that 21-yard run. That put the Vikings ahead 7-3, and they would extend that lead to 10-3 before the end of the first quarter thanks to a 37-yard field goal by Dan Bailey.
The Cardinals got themselves a less conventional touchdown in the second quarter, as Kirk Cousins was stripped from behind by Chandler Jones, with the football bouncing right into the hands of safety Budda Baker. Baker sprinted into the end zone for a 36-yard score, and suddenly things were tied at 10-10.
The Vikings got a 48-yard field goal from Bailey just before the end of the half to take a 13-10 lead into the locker room. The Vikings then opened thing up in the second half of play, thanks to Adam Thielen and Kirk Cousins.
Thielen touchdown comes by lining him up inside the tight end and getting a matchup against the Tampa-2 linebacker up the seam pic.twitter.com/9szOew3rnp— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 14, 2018
The 13-yard touchdown from Cousins to Thielen put the Vikings back up by double digits at 20-10. Following a three-and-out for the Cardinals, a big run by Murray put the Vikings in scoring territory again, and this time Cousins decided to finish the job himself.
You mean you don't have a spy on Kirk Cousins? smh pic.twitter.com/iayVWhZrIF— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 14, 2018
That was a seven-yard run for Cousins, and it put the Vikings on top 27-10 heading into the fourth quarter of play.
Arizona got some of the points back midway through the fourth quarter, thanks to a 1-yard touchdown run by David Johnson. That made the score 27-17 with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest, and was easily the most impressive drive the Cardinals put together on the afternoon.
The Cardinals got the ball back late, but a big sack by Danielle Hunter (who had two on the afternoon) put an end to the last serious threat the Cardinals would mount on the afternoon. The Vikings eventually ran out the clock, and the home team walked out with a 27-17 victory.
Cousins didn’t have his best game as a Viking, as he completed 24-of-34 passes for 233 yards, along with the touchdown pass to Thielen and an interception. He also had a very high number of passes knocked down by Arizona defenders at the line of scrimmage, which contributed to his numbers. He was also sacked four times on the afternoon.
One of the big stars of the day was Latavius Murray, who put together what was easily the best game of a season for a Vikings’ running back. Murray went over 100 yards, finishing with 155 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. That represents a career-high in rushing yardage for Murray, and it came at a time when the Vikings really needed it.
Adam Thielen continued his hot streak, as he notched his sixth consecutive 100-yard game, finishing the afternoon with 123 yards and a touchdown on 11 catches. Laquon Treadwell was actually the Vikings’ second-leading receiver on the day, with 38 yards on four catches. Kyle Rudolph had four grabs for 37 yards, while Stefon Diggs was limited to just three catches for 33 yards. Treadwell, Rudolph, and Diggs had no receptions in the second half.
Danielle Hunter continued a streak of his own, as he collected a sack for the sixth consecutive game. He had two on the afternoon, giving him seven on the season.
The Vikings move their record to 3-2-1 on the season, and they will head to the East Coast to take on the New York Jets next Sunday afternoon. The Cardinals fall to 1-5, and will have a short turnaround as they host the Denver Broncos on Thursday Night Football this week.
The Minnesota Vikings get their second consecutive victory, holding off the Arizona Cardinals by a score of 27-17 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Thanks to everybody that got their news this week right here at The Daily Norseman, and we’ll have more on this one over the next day or two.