Peterson, Kolb have tough times in 34-10 lossPosted: Updated:
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—With Adrian Peterson steamrolling toward him near the goal line, all Patrick Peterson could do was hold on for dear life and hope for some help.
“I knew he’s a very, very powerful runner,” Arizona’s prized rookie cornerback said. “I just wanted to hold him up enough so the guys could get to him and help me out a little bit.”
It was too late by then, and the Vikings running back buried his helmet into the rookie’s chest and carried him 7 yards into the end zone for his third touchdown of the first quarter of a 34-10 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.
Welcome to the league, rookie.
“I taught him a couple lessons,” said Adrian Peterson, who rushed for 122 yards. “But you’ve got to give credit to the young guy. He made some big plays, also.”
Not nearly enough to make up for Arizona’s mistake-prone offense. Kevin Kolb completed 21 of 42 passes for 232 yards with two interceptions and a lost fumble. Kolb had five passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage and the Cardinals (1-4) also had a touchdown wiped out by a penalty.
“We’ve got guys wide open on offense, we can’t make tackles on defense, we make mistakes,” Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt said. “We can sit here all day and say that there are opportunities to make plays, but at some point you’re not getting it done and that’s frustrating.”
It was over almost from the beginning. The Vikings were up 28-0 before the Cardinals even managed a first down.
After Asher Allen’s interception in Arizona territory, Adrian Peterson stiff-armed Richard Marshall to get around the right corner, then lowered his shoulder on Patrick Peterson and sent the rookie bouncing backward as he crossed the goal line to give the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
Two plays later, Brian Robison sacked Kolb and forced a fumble that Jared Allen recovered at the Arizona 25. Donovan McNabb, who was booed most of the day in a 10-for-21, 169-yard performance, finished the drive with a 4-yard TD run to make it 21-0, and Adrian Peterson put the finishing touches on the nightmare quarter with his 14-yard TD through Patrick Peterson.
“He’s a great runner,” Patrick Peterson said. “He’s definitely proven week-in and week-out why he’s the top running back in the league.”
The Cardinals head into their bye week with a lot of questions. Kolb has been shaky in his first season after being acquired in a trade from Philadelphia, the defense has shown a propensity to give up big pass plays and Kerry Rhodes (foot) and Darryn Colledge (head) both went down with injuries Sunday.
“We didn’t get it done today,” a clearly disappointed Whisenhunt said. “We’re going to look at what we’re doing and who we’re doing it with.”
Beanie Wells had 60 yards rushing on 20 carries with a touchdown while playing with a sore hamstring and Early Doucet had eight catches for 92 yards for the Cardinals. Doucet’s numbers would have been bigger, but his 11-yard TD from Kolb in the fourth quarter was wiped out by an illegal hands to the face penalty on right tackle Jeremy Bridges.
“Today obviously was the worst game we’ve played all season,” said star receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was held to four catches for 66 yards and had a drop in the first quarter. “The last three we were in contention, we were close, but this one got out of hand early.”
Kolb looked out of sorts all day long, harassed by Robison and Jared Allen on his dropbacks and missing open receivers with errant throws.
“If it’s tough for him to throw, then it’s always tough for ’11’ to catch it,” Asher Allen said of Fitzgerald.
With the Vikings defense swarming and pressuring, Whisenhunt finally pulled Kolb for backup Richard Bartel late in the fourth quarter. Kolb has nine turnovers—six interceptions, three lost fumbles—in five games this season.
That’s not what the Cardinals were hoping for when they sent a second-round pick and talented cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the Eagles for him this summer and signed him to a five-year contract with $21 million guaranteed.
“Maybe all of us as a collective group will look ourselves in the mirror and say, ‘all right, what do I need to change to get better?”’ Kolb said.
Kolb has struggled to get on the same page in a new offense without a summer full of practices and meetings that were wiped out by the lockout, but that is falling on deaf ears of the impatient Cardinals fan base. “It’s human error,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s guys not knowing what they’re supposed to do every single snap. We use the same plays that took us to the Super Bowl and ones that have been successful in the past. Our execution is not where it needs to be.”
Notes: Cardinals TE Todd Heap (hamstring) and P Dave Zastudil (right knee) did not play because of injuries after being listed as questionable Friday. Ben Graham averaged 42.4 yards per punt in Zastudil’s place, but Vikings PR Marcus Sherels had a good day and reduced Graham’s net average to 33.4. … Whisenhunt said both Rhodes and Colledge would be evaluated Monday. … Jay Feely kicked a 51-yard field goal in the second quarter.