Grading the game: Cardinals

The Vikings were decent in their play against Arizona, especially late, but they will find room for improvement, especially in the consistency department. We take a look at their successes and failures in different facets of the game.

PASSING OFFENSE: B — Playing on a fractured ankle and heel, with tendinitis in his elbow and a gash on his chin, Brett Favre threw for a career-high 446 yards and tied his career high by completing 36 of 47 passes. Favre finished with two touchdowns and two interceptions as he led the Vikings' comeback from a 14-point deficit that began with 4 minutes, 39 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Favre, working out of the no-huddle, completed 15 of 19 passes for 176 yards with a 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe. Favre completed nine passes apiece to wide receivers Percy Harvin (126 yards) and Bernard Berrian (89). Berrian had a total of nine receptions in the seven games before the victory over the Cardinals.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — Adrian Peterson didn't rush for 100 yards — he finished with 81 — but his 5.4-yard average was his second-highest of the season. He averaged 7.0 yards on 23 attempts in Week 3 against Detroit. Peterson also had a rushing touchdown and another receiving. That was only the second time in his four-year career he had caught a touchdown pass. The Vikings finished with 80 yards rushing as a team because Berrian lost eight yards on a carry. Rookie Toby Gerhart had only six yards on two carries and caught a pass for three yards, as he had a very limited role in terms of touches.

PASS DEFENSE: B — The story here is that after going three games without a sack, the Vikings finally got to the quarterback. Right end Jared Allen had 2.5 of the team's season-high six sacks against Arizona's Derek Anderson. That tied the Vikings' season total of six sacks over the first seven games. Allen had only one sack entering the game and hadn't had one since Week 2. Left end Ray Edwards was credited with two sacks after having 1.5 for the season. Anderson finished with 196 yards passing with one touchdown. The Vikings had given up more than 200 yards in their previous three games.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus — After giving up 122 yards the previous week at New England, the Vikings rebounded to hold the Cardinals to 53 yards on 21 carries, which figures to 2.5 yards per attempt. The Cardinals' leading rusher, Tim Hightower, had 39 yards on 13 carries, and no run went for longer than 11 yards. The Vikings used a combination of players, including Fred Evans and Jimmy Kennedy, in the interior of the line to help out starters Kevin Williams and Pat Williams.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C — This grade should be much higher considering Ryan Longwell hit two field goals, including the 35-yard game-winner in overtime, and Chris Kluwe put all four of his punts inside the 20-yard line. But the grade is dragged down by the fact the Vikings gave up two returns for touchdowns. LaRod Stephens-Howling had a 96-yard kickoff return in the second quarter, and Michael Adams picked up Percy Harvin's fumble on the opening kickoff of the third quarter and returned it 30 yards for another to make it 21-10 in favor of the Cardinals. Greg Camarillo had a good day returning punts, as he averaged 12.3 yards on seven returns. That is his best average for the season in a game in which he has fielded more than one punt.

COACHING: C — Embattled coach Brad Childress might have saved his job for at least another week with the victory, but it's unclear whether he still has the attention of the team. The Vikings seemed to have tuned out Childress for much of the afternoon before staging a late rally. There were chants of "Fire Childress" at Mall of America Field that could be heard at various times. Childress probably won't be too upset to get away to Chicago for Sunday's game.

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