The Vikings' top two quarterbacks both looked strong in their second preseason game Saturday night, a 30-28 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at TCF Bank Stadium.
Veteran Matt Cassel played the first half, completing 12 of 16 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown, and rushing for another 30 yards on three carries. He was done for the night at halftime, with the Vikings trailing 14-13. Cassel had a 125.3 passer rating for the half, according to the Star Tribune.
Rookie Teddy Bridgewater played the second half and was more poised than he was in the game against Oakland a week ago. Bridgewater threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, including one with 18 second left in the game, to give the Vikings the victory.
The Cardinals had gone ahead a minute earlier on a strange fourth-down play, when their rookie quarterback Ryan Lindley dropped the snap. The center batted the ball behind him and Zach Baumann grabbed it and ran into the end zone for the touchdown, according to the Associated Press.
On that last drive of the game, Bridgewater completed six out of seven passes for 77 yards, and threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Smith for the game winning score. For the game, Bridgewater finished 16 of 20 for 179 yards with two TD passes and a 2-point conversion.
The first-string defense looked anemic in the first Cardinal drive of the game, as Carson Palmer threw for 87 yards on only three completions to give Arizona a 7-0 lead after less than three and a half minutes, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The defense bounced back later on and featured a more aggressive pass rush.
The only defensive position that still appears wide open is strong safety, and none of the four players competing for the spot played especially well, the Pioneer Press notes. Veterans Chris Crocker and Kurt Coleman played in the first half, while Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo played the second half.
Blair Walsh made three of four field goals for the Vikings. He missed a 51-yard attempt when the ball hit the left upright. He also missed an extra point.
For the second straight week, running back Adrian Peterson sat out as a precaution against injury.
After the game, head coach Mike Zimmer was still non-committal about who will be the Vikings starting quarterback for the regular season opener on Sept. 7 against the St. Louis Rams. He had good things to say about both Cassel and Bridgewater, the Star Tribune reports.