Arizona won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense the football first. The Vikings ran it quite a bit early and then opened things up with a big pass from Cousins to Justin Jefferson to get the ball near the Cardinals’ red zone. Then, on a 3rd-and-4 from the Arizona 17, Cousins got on the engine and ran it into the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown run to give the Vikings an early 7-0 lead.
Former Cardinal Patrick Peterson started the first defensive series for the Vikings by getting called for a horse collar tackle to help move Arizona along. The Cardinals’ drive ended with a 44-yard field goal attempt from long-time Vikings’ nemesis Matt Prater, which split the uprights and cut the Minnesota lead to 7-3.
Minnesota got a big play on their first third down of the next drive, a 30-yard run by Dalvin Cook (some of which was taken away by a taunting penalty on. . .Garrett Bradbury) to get into Arizona territory. The Vikings found themselves facing a 4th-and-1 from the Arizona 38 and elected to go for it, but Cousins’ pass for Adam Thielen fell incomplete for a turnover on downs.
Arizona crossed midfield on their next possession, but the drive ended on a sack by Za’Darius Smith, who “roped the calf” in tribute to today’s Ring of Honor inductee, Jared Allen. As we hit the second quarter, the Cardinals are looking at 4th-and-15 from their own 46 and will punt it away.
We’ve made it through the first quarter in Minneapolis, and the Vikings lead the Cardinals by a score of 7-3. Come join us for the second quarter of play, folks!