And it was.
Joseph missed a 37-yard field goal with no time left on the clock provided the margin of victory after a missed extra point earlier in the day, letting the Cardinals sneak away with a 34-33 victory in Week 2 NFL action.
The Vikings drew first blood in this one, and it took them less than a minute to get there. Kirk Cousins dropped back to pass and found K.J. Osborn for a huge 64-yard score on the second play of the game to put the Vikings ahead 7-0 after their first possession.
The Cardinals answered on their second possession after the two teams exchanged three-and-outs. Kyler Murray evaded the pass rush and hit DeAndre Hopkins for a 15-yard score to tie things up at 7-7 with just under six minutes left in the opening quarter.
Minnesota got back on top on their next possession, though, as Cousins got his second touchdown pass of the opening quarter. This one was a 7-yard strike to Adam Thielen that put the Vikings ahead by a score of 14-7 with just seconds remaining in the first quarter of play.
Cousins got his third touchdown pass of the afternoon a short time later, as he scrambled to his left and hit Justin Jefferson for a 14-yard score. The extra point by Greg Joseph sailed wide right, but it was still good enough to have the Vikings ahead by a score of 20-7 with just under nine minutes remaining in the second quarter.
The Cardinals got closer on their next possession, as Murray ran the ball into the end zone from 12 yards out to cut the Vikings’ lead to 20-14 with just over three minutes left in the half. The drive featured a play near the goal line that was initially called a fumble recovered by the Vikings, but after review was (correctly) overturned by the officials with Arizona keeping possession.
Arizona then took the lead after stuffing the Vikings on a 3rd-and-1 run by Dalvin Cook. The Cardinals then needed just one play to score, as Murray found Rondale Moore for a 77-yard strike to put the home team ahead, 21-20 with a minute and a half remaining in the half.
A 52-yard field goal from Greg Joseph gave the Vikings the lead back at 23-21, and the Cardinals answered that just before halftime with a 62-yarder. . .yes, sixty-two. . .from Matt Prater to take a 24-23 lead into the locker room.
Arizona got the football coming out of the locker room at halftime, but it was the Vikings that scored on that possession courtesy of a 38-yard pick-six from Nick Vigil. He plucked a pass from Murray and rambled back for the score, putting the Vikings back on top by a score of 30-24 just a minute into the second half.
Not taking this one away from Nick pic.twitter.com/V2y47qyhcd— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 19, 2021
But the Cardinals had an answer once again, as Murray got his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, this one a 9-yarder to A.J. Green where he ran over Bashaud Breeland on his way to the end zone. The score put the home team back on top once again by a score of 31-30 with just over nine minutes remaining in the third quarter.
After a Vikings’ punt, the Cardinals started to drive again, but safety Xavier Woods collected the Vikings’ second interception of Murray on the afternoon, as he picked off a long pass near the goal line to get the Vikings the ball back.
Minnesota pulled back into the lead on the ensuing drive, as Greg Joseph connected on his second 52-yard field goal of the afternoon to put the Vikings back on top, 33-31. The Vikings forced a punt on the next possession, but Dede Westbrook inexplicably fielded it deep and was taken down at the 2-yard line to put the Vikings in dangerous waters. Not surprisingly, the Vikings then had to punt the ball back to the Cardinals from deep in their own territory.
The Vikings forced the Cardinals into a 4th-and-5 situation from the Minnesota 41 and brought the house, but Murray got rid of it and found Christian Kirk for a huge gain to set up first-and-goal. The Vikings then limited the damage to a field goal from Prater, a 27-yarder to put Arizona back up, 34-33, with four and a half minutes remaining.
The two teams exchanged punts and the Vikings got the ball back at their own 22-yard line with one time out left and just over two minutes remaining. The Vikings, led by Cousins, pushed down the field and got Joseph in position to attempt a game-winning kick. Joseph, who had been good twice from 52 yards earlier in the game, pushed his attempt wide to the left as time expired, sending the Vikings to an 0-2 record.
The Vikings lose a heartbreaker to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2, 34-33, at State Farm Stadium. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!