Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/21/12
MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota had just defeated Arizona 21-14 at the Metrodome Sunday when Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder took to the podium and, essentially, apologized. "It's a good thing to be disappointed when you're 5-2," he began. "Obviously the offense, especially me, didn't perform as we should have." Winning will ease the pain, but consider the following: The Vikings were outgained 356 yards to 209. Besides two long first-half scoring drives, the Vikings netted 49 yards. And then there was Ponder. He completed eight of 17 passes for just 58 yards. He threw two interceptions for the third straight week. He led a Minnesota offense that gained a total of 58 yards and managed two first downs in the second half. But it was enough. That's because Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had his 29th career 100-yard gain, gaining 153 yards on 23 carries with his first touchdown since opening day. Percy Harvin caught four more passes, including one for a touchdown. But, the credit for this one mainly goes to the defense. The Vikings sacked Arizona quarterback John Skelton seven times, and rookie safety Harrison Smith returned his first interception 31 yards for a touchdown early in the second half and give the Vikings a 21-7 lead. "We just had too many mistakes," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Turnover to start the second half was tough. Offensively we did some good things, but we've got to quit making mistakes." Arizona's offense was just as shaky as Minnesota's. Skelton made Ponder pay for his first interception by leading a short drive that ended with LaRod Stephens-Howling's three-yard TD run. But Skelton was on his back or off the mark for most of the game. Even Stephens-Howling's 149 total yards from scrimmage wasn't enough offset that. Defensive ends Brian Robison (three) and Jared Allen (two) each had multiple sacks of Skelton, who was starting in place of the injured Kevin Kolb. "We knew we were going to have to outplay their defense," Robison said. "They have a great defense over there. We had to get after their quarterback, not let him sit there and make plays. We wish we would have tackled better on the run, but bottom line is we got a win." Indeed. The 5-2 Vikings are set to host Tampa Bay Thursday for a chance to finish the first half of the season with six wins. After starting the season 4-0, the Cardinals have now lost three straight overall and have lost their last eight games played at the Metrodome. "It was one thing - the inability to capitalize on opportunities - that is extremely frustrating," Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald said. The Vikings offense moved the ball early, using 12 plays to take a 7-0 lead on Peterson's 13-yard run. After the Cardinals turned Ponder's first pick into a TD to tie the score, the Vikings moved 69 yards in 10 plays to score on Ponder's three-yard TD pass to Harvin. That was pretty much it for the Vikings offense, which had three-and-outs on four of six second-half possessions. Smith made it 21-7 early in the third when he stepped in front of Skelton's pass intended for Early Doucet and returned it for a score. After that, neither offense could execute. In all, Arizona had five drives of six plays or longer but could not close the deal, losing the ball twice on downs, once by fumble and once by interception. The bottom line was a victory for Minnesota. "It's hard to get wins in the National Football League," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "That was a tough team we played today, one that I'm sure this December will be battling for a spot in the playoffs. There were things we didn't do well. We could have done a lot better and we'll try to make those corrections.'' NOTES: Rashad Johnson started ahead of Kerry Rhodes at free safety for the Cardinals. The other lineup change was Reagan Maui'a starting at fullback in place of the injured Anthony Sherman. ... As expected, Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson - who was inactive last week with problems the team said were related to his back - was active. ... Peterson's 29th 100 yard game tied him with Robert Smith for most in franchise history. ... Jared Allen had his first multiple-sack game since Week 17 of the 2011 season.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Doc Rivers blames ‘bloggers’ for Blake Griffin trade rumors

Jason Peters: Eagles practiced too much under Chip Kelly


Report: Giants’ Victor Cruz cleared to practice

PETA sends Warren Sapp vegan lobster following shark bite

Report: Josh McCown has looked better at times than RG3

Mike Trout does David Ortiz impersonation

Suspended Steelers WR Martavis Bryant set to help coach HS football

Tickets for ‘Monday Night Football’ game in Mexico sell out

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

Josh Gordon thankful for support from Browns

Report: Seahawks DE Chris Clemons retiring

Denard Robinson blames falling asleep at stoplight for pond crash

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker