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Silver linings: Cardinals at Vikings

10/11/2011

The facts: The Cardinals fell to 1-4 after suffering a 34-10 road defeat to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 5.

The upside: Even the worst defeats tend to feature a bright spot or two.

  • Cornerback A.J. Jefferson jumped a pass route early in the game and nearly came away with an interception. He broke up this pass and another one on third down later in the first half. Jefferson also made an impressive open-field tackle on Adrian Peterson for a 1-yard gain.

  • Receiver Early Doucet caught eight passes for 92 yards. Both figures were game-highs. Doucet showed tremendous effort in the third quarter with his diving attempt at a first down along the sideline while his team was trailing by three scores. Doucet nearly had a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but a holding penalty negated the play.

  • Michael Adams downed a Cardinals punt at the Minnesota 2-yard line early in the second quarter. He downed another one inside the 5 shortly before halftime.

  • Running back Beanie Wells provided physical running in the open field when he had the chance, running over cornerback Cedric Griffin with enough force to send Griffin onto his back, helmet flying.

  • Arizona converted a season-high 44 percent of its third-down opportunities on offense.

  • Linebacker Daryl Washington finished the game with a sack, two quarterback hits and a tackle for loss.

  • Cornerback Richard Marshall forced a fumble in the third quarter. Linebacker Clark Haggans received credit on the stat sheet, but Marshall appeared to play a leading role in the play.

  • Quarterback Kevin Kolb hung in the pocket until the last second, inviting punishment before delivering strikes to Doucet and Larry Fitzgerald as the Cardinals moved into position for their lone touchdown.

  • Tight end Jeff King was a reliable target on underneath passes, catching five for 35 yards.

Looking ahead: The Cardinals have their bye in Week 6, followed by a home game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.