Peterson shines, Ponder struggles as Vikings top Cards, 21-14

The Vikings move to 5-2 on the year with a win over the Arizona Cardinals at Mall of America Field.

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adrian Peterson rushed for 153 yards and a first-quarter touchdown to lead the Vikings to a 21-14 victory over the Arizona Cardinals Sunday at Mall of America Field.

For Peterson, it was his 29th game of 100 rushing yards or more, tying a team record held by Robert Smith.

"I just do what I do," Peterson said after the game. "Go out there and execute on every play."

To see Peterson's news conference in its entirety, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

To see the highlights of the game, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder struggled, however, passing for just 58 yards and a touchdown, with two interceptions. Ponder's only touchdown strike was to Percy Harvin from three-yards out in the second quarter. That was the last time the Vikings offense would score on the day.

"I've got to step up and play better," Ponder said. "We're 5-2, which is a good spot ... but there's obviously a lot of things we have to work on as an offense."

To see Ponder's news conference in its entirety, via Vikings.com,CLICK HERE.

Minnesota's third touchdown came on a pick six by rookie safety Harrison Smith early in the third quarter. Smith intercepted a John Skelton pass at the Cardinals' 31-yard line and ran it into the end zone.

"As a defensive guy, when you get your hands on the ball your heart beats a little faster," Smith told KFAN-FM 100.3 radio after the game.

As far as grabbing his first interception, Smith told GamedayGold.com: "I've dropped a couple already -- so hopefully we'll just keep this rolling."

Overall, the Vikings defense had a big day pressuring Cardinals quarterback John Skelton, sacking him seven times.

"To be able to get after a quarterback like that ... he probably missed throws that were open," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen told GamedayGold.com. "That helps the team win." Allen was credited with two sacks on the day.

To hear more from the Vikings' Smith and Allen, as well as Matt Kalil, John Sullivan, Kevin Williams, Chris Cook and Charlie Johnson, via GamedayGold.com, CLICK HERE.

LaRod Stephens-Howling opened the Cardinals' scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter. His run followed a Paris Lenon interception of a Ponder pass on the Minnesota 16-yard line. Arizona added another TD late in the fourth quarter on a 6-yard Skelton pass to Andre Roberts to make it 21-14.

"Our guys battled and battled ... and found a way to get a win at home," Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. "Fortunately for us, we have guys ... that ... understand how important it is to compete on every single down."

To see Frazier's news conference in its entirety, via Vikings.com, CLICK HERE.

The Vikings could have had one more touchdown in the first half, but a blocking penalty erased a 103-yard Percy Harvin touchdown run on the opening kickoff.

With the win, the Vikings improve to 5-2 on the season as the Cardinals drop to 4-3.

Minnesota now has a short week of preparation as they face Tampa Bay Thursday night at the Metrodome.

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