One thing had become obvious by the end of the first half of tonight’s game: the Cardinals are a few notches above the teams the Vikings have been getting fat on.
Kurt Warner is as wily as Brett Favre, and can be just as effective. And when Anquan Boldin gets in the mood, he can still be one of the most dominating receivers in the league, as he proved by scoring a pair of touchdowns.
As well as the Cards played, things could’ve been better for them, and worse for the Vikings. Penalties and a huge Tim Hightower fumble helped off-set some of the great offensive things Arizona accomplished. The Vikings took an early 7-0 lead off the turnover. A lead that, sadly, wouldn’t last long.
The Vikings were hurt by some poor field position, bad punt coverage leading to a long Steve Breaston return to set up a touchdown and, for a time, injuries to both their starting offensive tackles.
The Purple recovered offensively after the returns of Bryant McKinnie and Phil Loadholt. They dialed back their pass game then, switching to runs and passes to the running backs, and were able to work down for a chip-shot field goal to make it 14-10 Cards.
Unfortunately, Arizona got the ball back with a good 2 minutes left…more than enough time for Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and the Cards to put 7 more on the board.
The good news for the Vikings? They get the ball first in the second half. They’ll need to dial up some pressure on Warner, unless they want the second half to become a passing clinic by Arizona.