Sunday, December 14, 2008
Halftime: Vikings (a lot), Cardinals (not so much)
Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Some random halftime thoughts from University of Phoenix Stadium, where Minnesota is thumping Arizona by a score of 28-0:
- The Vikings' front four is thoroughly dominating Arizona's offensive line, especially in passing situations. The Vikings have sacked Kurt Warner twice, but they've rushed a half-dozen of his throws and are hitting him regularly. (An aside: When are the Cardinals going to realize they can't leave left tackle Wayne Gandy alone on defensive end Jared Allen)? With such a big deficit, you figure the Vikings are going to come after Warner for the entire second half with no fear of the running game. We call that "pinning your ears back" in the business.
- It's hard to tell if the Vikings have pulled back on their downfield passing game because of the score or their change in quarterbacks, but it's been noticeable. Tarvaris Jackson made a couple of nice early throws to receiver Bernard Berrian, but for the most part the Vikings are relying Adrian Peterson (104 yards) and Chester Taylor (46). And based on how the game has gone, you can't argue with the intent or results.
- No matter how this game turns out, the Vikings can't clinch the NFC North on Sunday. But if they hold on for a win over the Cardinals, the Vikings' "magic number" will be 1. That means they could clinch the division with any combination of a victory or loss by Chicago.