Cardinals 10

(1-4, 0-3 away)

Vikings 34

(1-4, 1-2 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 9, 2011

Mall of America Field, Minneapolis, MN 

1 2 3 4 T
ARI 0 3 7 010
MIN 28 0 3 334

Top Performers

Passing: K. Kolb (ARI) - 232 YDS, 2 INT

Rushing: A. Peterson (MIN) - 29 CAR, 122 YDS, 3 TD

Receiving: E. Doucet (ARI) - 8 REC, 92 YDS

Adrian Peterson's three first-half touchdowns help Vikings win first game

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson rammed his way into the end zone to make Minnesota's early lead even larger, lowering his shoulder to finish the run as if to pour four weeks of frustration out on his unsuccessful tackler.

The Minnesota Vikings finally ended their troubling habit of stumbling down the stretch.

Peterson powered in for three first-quarter touchdowns to build a cushion so big even Minnesota couldn't lose it, and the Vikings earned their first victory Sunday by beating the bumbling Arizona Cardinals 34-10.

"It felt good just to get a 'W' first and foremost and get out of this slump. It was a good test for us, and we did what we've been preaching," said Peterson, who rushed 29 times for 122 yards.

Donovan McNabb jogged in for a score, too, and the Vikings (1-4) went ahead 28-0 less than 12½ minutes into the game. Kevin Kolb had three turnovers for the Cardinals (1-4) and finished 21 for 42 for 232 yards and one touchdown pass, a performance so shaky the Vikings were able to confidently run down the clock after some ugly offense of their own during the second and third quarters.

"There isn't a magic wand that we can wave, and all of a sudden it will get better. But we are going to keep plugging at it, and we will get better," Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin said.

From McNabb's bounced passes to Kolb's errant throws, neither former Philadelphia quarterback played well. McNabb's final numbers against what had been a leaky Arizona secondary were 10 completions, 21 attempts, 169 yards and a bunch of boos.

"I don't worry about it all, because at the end of the day you look up and you see a win," McNabb said. "We're excited about it."

The Vikings started three straight first-quarter drives at the Arizona 18, 24 and 25, stretching their lead so large so quickly the fans stopped chanting for rookie Christian Ponder. McNabb and the Vikings were still jeered off the field at the half with a 28-3 advantage after a sack prompted a run-out-the-clock order from coach Leslie Frazier.

Frazier said he remains confident in McNabb as the starter. With a wide, sly smile, the coach insisted he was unaware of the boos.

"Never heard it. All I heard were cheers. It was a great day for the Vikings," Frazier said.

Added linebacker Chad Greenway: "You never want to get booed by your own fans, but you expect it when you're 0-4 that they're going to tell you how they feel."

McNabb has at least avoided those costly turnovers, unlike Kolb, who has six interceptions and three lost fumbles in five games.

"It's not one person making a lot of mistakes. It's all of us making one or two mistakes. That's where details come in," Kolb said. "You're never going to find non-belief in this locker room. We felt like we had a chance the whole time."

The Cardinals had six possessions in the first quarter, only once crossing their own 30. Kolb's batted pass was intercepted by Asher Allen, and Brian Robison knocked the ball out of Kolb's hand on a speed rush to end another series before it started.

"Our guys have got to grow up and start making those plays," Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

The Vikings lost their first four games by a combined 19 points, including two devastating defeats here last month when Tampa Bay (17-0) and Detroit (20-0) came back from big halftime deficits.

The Cardinals could've easily finished the first quarter of the season undefeated, too, losing by a total of eight points to Washington, Seattle and the New York Giants. In the modern NFL, however, it's usually those seemingly innocent inconsistencies and the inability to finish games strong that suggest real problems.

The Vikings gave the Cardinals their chance to get back in this one, too, when a fumble lost by Michael Jenkins on the first drive of the third quarter gave them the ball near midfield.

Kolb was under heavy pressure on the next drive, but he finally found Larry Fitzgerald for a critical back-shoulder completion near the goal line, and Beanie Wells rumbled in on the next play to cut the lead to 28-10. An eerie silence came over the crowd, as if everyone in the stadium started to dread another collapse.

But on the ensuing possession, McNabb found Devin Aromashodu, who took over Bernard Berrian's role as the deep-route wide receiver, on a crossing pattern that netted 60 yards. That drive at least ate up some time and ended with a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell, the first score by the Vikings in more than 29 minutes.

Wells was tripped up on fourth-and-1 on Arizona's next drive at his own 47 by Allen -- playing for absent stalwart Antoine Winfield, out with a neck injury -- and the Vikings took over in Cardinals territory.

Right tackle Jeremy Bridges, who had a rough afternoon, was flagged for illegal hands to the face that wiped out what would've been a touchdown pass by Kolb to Early Doucet on the Cardinals' next possession, and they went on to turn the ball over on downs.

"We stood up at the end. We did what we had to do to win the game and finally put together a complete game," Robison said.

Game notes

Fitzgerald was limited to four receptions and 66 yards. The Minneapolis native is 0-3 in his hometown against the Vikings. ... Jared Allen (poked eye) and Robison (abdominal strain) hobbled off the field with injuries on consecutive plays in the third quarter, but they both returned on the next series. They had two sacks apiece, giving them 8&189; and 4&189; respectively for the season. ... This was the first healthy scratch of Berrian's eight-year career. Frazier said the move was for disciplinary reasons. ... McNabb's rushing touchdown was the 33rd of his 13-year career, but his first in 22 games since Dec. 20, 2009. ... Longwell's streak of 16 straight field goals ended. ... The Vikings have actually outscored their opponents this year, 111-106. Just as remarkable is that they're plus-3 in turnover margin.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1820
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7659
Total Yards291332
Yards per play3.85.6
Total Drives1314
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-33-5
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

minTD9:23Adrian Peterson 4 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 18 yds, 1:35
minTD9:02Adrian Peterson 24 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 1 plays, 24 yds, 0:00
minTD6:31Donovan Mcnabb 4 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 25 yds, 1:50
minTD2:48Adrian Peterson 14 Yard Run (Ryan Longwell Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 73 yds, 2:01
ariFG10:34Jay Feely 51 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 20 yds, 3:25
ariTD8:26Beanie Wells 2 Yard Run (Jay Feely Kick is Good)
Drive info: 9 plays, 59 yds, 3:41
minFG3:39Ryan Longwell 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 82 yds, 4:48
minFG2:14Ryan Longwell 53 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 12 yds, 4:33

Research Notes

NEXT LEVEL: Adrian Peterson rushed for a season-high 122 yards against the Cardinals on Sunday including 70 yards after contact. Entering the day, Peterson led the NFL in total yards after contact over the first four weeks of the season (151).
Since 1940, the Cardinals franchise has never given up 28 points in the first quarter.
This is the 2nd time in Vikings history the team scored 28 points in the first quarter. In 1986 Week 4, the Vikings led the the Packers 28-0 after the 1st quarter.
The Vikings led 28-0 at the end of the 1st quarter today vs the Cardinals. It is just the 9th time since the NFL merger in 1970 that a team has had a 28-point lead after just one quarter of play. Two of those nine instances have now been done by the Vikings, with the other time coming in 1986 when they led the the Packers 28-0 after the 1st when Tommy Kramer had 4 TD passes. The last occurrence was just last season on November 15, 2010 when the Philadelphia Eagles led the Washington Redskins 28-0 on Monday Night Football. Donovan McNabb was on the losing side of that early blowout, as opposed to today.
Adrian Peterson has 3 Rush TD in the 1st quarter. He is the 1st player with 3 Rush TD in the 1st quarter since Tim Biakabatuka did so for the Panthers on October 3, 1999. It's the 4th time a player has 3 Rush TD in the 1st quarter in the last 20 years. The others besides Peterson and Biakabatuka are Stephen Davis (1999) and James Stewart (1997)

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