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Vikings improve to 6-1 with 34-26 victory over Cardinals

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dive into the Week 8 SNF matchup, weighing in on how much Green Bay's defense can slow down Josh Allen.

The Cardinals and Vikings went back and forth on Sunday, particularly in the second half. But in the end, turnovers were the difference as Minnesota came away with a 34-26 victory.

Down by two in the fourth quarter, Arizona muffed a punt deep in its own territory that put Minnesota in position to expand its lead. A few plays later, quarterback Kirk Cousins hit receiver K.J. Osborn for a 5-yard touchdown to make the score 34-26. And it stayed there when kicker Greg Joseph hit the extra point off the left upright.

But it would be no matter. Quarterback Kyler Murray threw his second interception of the game on Arizona’s ensuing drive, halting a drive that had reached the Minnesota 44.

And while the Cardinals had one last shot to tie the game, Murray took a pair of sacks in Minnesota territory that ran out the clock and sealed the loss.

The game arguably should not have been that close. The Vikings rushed for 173 yards, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Dalvin Cook had 111 yards with a touchdown. Alexander Mattison had 40 yards on five carries for 8.0 yards a pop. Even Cousins had 22 yards on four carries, including a 17-yard touchdown that opened the scoring.

Cousins finished 24-of-36 passing for 232 yards with a pair of TDs. Receiver Justin Jefferson had six catches for 98 yards.

On the other side, DeAndre Hopkins caught his 800th career pass and finished with 12 receptions for 159 yards and a TD. Rondale Moore also had seven catches for 92 yards, as Murray finished 31-of-44 for 326 yards with three touchdowns and two picks.

But it was not enough against a swarming Minnesota defense that sacked Murray four times and finished with six QB hits. Za’Darius Smith led the way with 3.0 sacks and four tackles for loss.

With the victory, the Vikings are now 6-1 and will be on the road against the Commanders next weekend.

The Cardinals will host the Seahawks in Week Nine.