The Vikings took that to heart and rebounded last week with a resounding win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Jared Allen said following the Arizona game that he wouldn't want to be the Bengals because they were going to feel the wrath of what the Vikings had gone through in Arizona. Clearly, they did.
So what was the difference between such a hideous game at Arizona and a beatdown of the Bengals? Getting back to basics. Guard Anthony Herrera said that loss at Arizona got everyone upset, because that wasn't Vikings football. What they needed, he said, was to get back to doing what they have done so well since August.
"Everybody knows what happened the last time we were on the road," Herrera said. "We're not worried about it. In football, anytime stuff goes wrong, your coaches will tell you to go back to your fundamentals. That holds true whether you're a player or a coach. We went back to training camp plays and we saw what happened last Sunday."
The anger that followed the loss to the Cardinals got everyone refocused on what needed to be done. Sometimes keeping things simple is the best approach, even in a complex game like professional football.
"We just had to get back to the basics," tight end Visanthe Shiancoe said. "That game against the Cardinals pretty much upset us. We didn't play our best game down there. We all know that. We left a lot of plays on the field and didn't put forth our best effort. They beat us. Our vets had to buckle back down, get our mind back right and individually find out what you need to do – gut check a little bit. There was no need to panic. We went back to the basics and you saw what the end result was. Maybe we have to do that every week."
As the Vikings make their road return to prime-time television, they do so with the memory of the Cardinals debacle still fresh in their minds. If they needed any motivation to put their best foot forward, that poor performance in the national spotlight may provide all the incentive they need.
"We learned from that experience and hopefully it will make us a better team," linebacker Ben Leber said. "It was a humbling experience and something we're going to work hard to make sure we don't repeat."
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.