The Minnesota Vikings were in position to head back to Minneapolis at 1-1 but a late miss by Greg Joseph allowed the Arizona Cardinals to escape with a 34-33 victory on Sunday.
The Vikings came out on fire in the first half led by the play of Kirk Cousins. After an uneven performance against the Bengals, Cousins threw three touchdowns in the first half including a 64-yard strike to K.J. Osborn on the second play of the game.
Kyler Murray tied it up with a 15-yard pass to DeAndre Hopkins but Cousins answered with touchdown passes to Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson to put Minnesota ahead 20-7.
But the fast start didn't last when Joseph missed the ensuing PAT. With the door open, Murray used his playmaking ability to for a 12-yard touchdown scramble and a 77-yard touchdown pass to Rondale Moore to give Arizona a 21-20 lead.
After both teams exchanged field goals, the Vikings went into the second half down 24-23 but Nick Vigil provided a spark with a pick-six to put Minnesota back in front.
Arizona took the lead back on the following drive with a touchdown pass from Murray to A.J. Green but the Vikings answered with a 52-yard field goal from Greg Joseph.
The 33-31 lead held until late in the fourth quarter when the Vikings had the Cardinals on a 4th-and-5 at the Minnesota 41. Although Zimmer unleashed his defense with an all-out blitz, Murray threw a rainbow off his back foot into the arms of Christian Kirk to put the Cardinals at the six-yard line. The reception set up a Matt Prater field goal that put Arizona ahead 34-33.
After both teams exchanged three-and-outs, the Vikings had a final chance to win the game. A clutch drive by Cousins put the Vikings into field goal range, but Joseph's game-winner went wide right and the Cardinals survived and sent the Vikings to 0-2.
Things won't get easier for the Vikings as they return home to face the Seattle Seahawks next week. With another Super Bowl contender in the Cleveland Browns visiting the following week, the Vikings will need to find answers quickly to avoid an 0-4 start.