Arizona Cardinals Jump on Vikings Joy Ride

The Cardinals put up doughnuts in the first half and didn't live up to their improving expectations. The high they felt from clinching the division the week prior was quickly gone with a 35-14 loss to the Vikings. The Cardinals were held to less than 20 points for the second time all year. Here is what worked, what didn't and what's next.

What Worked

--Jerheme Urban gave the Cardinals their first glimpse of hope in the second half. Kurt Warner and Steve Breaston made two textbook pass-catch plays that set Urban up, who in turn, fought off contact and took the 50-yard reception into the end zone. The score marked the Cardinals first offensive success of the game.

--Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Roderick Hood put the Cardinals back into contention when Rodgers-Cromartie got the better end of a pass. His efforts put the ball on the ground. Hood picked it up and ran 68 yards like there was no tomorrow. Hood and Rodgers-Cromartie gave the Cardinals a fighting chance.

--Before the second half excitement, the Cardinals looked good on the Vikings opening drive. Arizona grabbed Minnesota by the horns when Antonio Smith and Chike Okeafor both recorded a sack against QB Tarvaris Jackson.

What Didn't Work

--The easy answer: everything. After clinching the NFC West with three games left on the docket, the Cardinals struggled against a staunch Vikings' defensive front-seven.

Warner received un-welcomed face time with a plethora of men in purple.

Mike Gandy could feel a brunt of scrutiny from getting beat by Jared Allen on a number of occasions. Levi Brown missed a few blocks as well.

--Adrian Peterson was able to bypassed the line of scrimmage with ease and didn't feel threatened by the Cardinals secondary. Peterson ran 165 yards.

--All of the above resulted in a first half shutout for the Cardinals. The first 30 minutes left Warner frustrated and fans booing. Arizona suffered the point of no return despite a pair of touchdowns in the second half.

What's Next

The Cardinals will head to the Bermuda Triangle, otherwise known as the East Coast, to take on the New England Patriots. The Patriots are a team that has a lot to play for.

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