Wrap-up: Vikings 21, Cardinals 14
October, 21, 2012
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
Thoughts on the Arizona Cardinals' 21-14 loss at Minnesota in Week 7:
What it means: The Cardinals fell to 4-3 with their third consecutive defeat. They've got San Francisco, Green Bay (road) and Atlanta (road) on the schedule from here. The team will need better play from quarterback John Skelton to avoid dropping to 4-6. It's fair to wonder whether the Cardinals will see rookie Ryan Lindley at quarterback at some point over the next few weeks, either through injury or Skelton's poor performance. (Update: Skelton finished strong, completing 11 of 14 passes with a touchdown in the fourth quarter).
What I liked: The Cardinals stuck with the running game early and got better production. LaRod Stephens-Howling tied the game at 7-7 with the team's first rushing touchdown since Week 2 and third of the season.
Paris Lenon's interception set up the scoring drive. Sam Acho made a diving interception right before halftime. The Cardinals' ground game and defense put the team in scoring position frequently enough to keep the game competitive -- if only the offense could capitalize.
Left tackle D'Anthony Batiste fared far better than expected in pass protection against Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.
What I didn't like: The Cardinals' run defense struggled from the beginning. Adrian Peterson popped a 28-yard run before his 13-yard touchdown run gave the Viking a 7-0 lead. Peterson topped 100 yards rushing. But with Jay Feely missing a field goal try right before halftime and Skelton throwing a pick-six in the third quarter, the Cardinals fell behind and the game slipped away.
What's next: The Cardinals are home against the San Francisco 49ers on "Monday Night Football" in Week 8.