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Peterson Makes Cards Pay

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 Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and Vikings running bakc Adrian Peterson share some words Sunday after the Vikings beat the Cards, 35-14.

Adrian Wilson was willing to give Adrian Peterson some lofty praise Sunday.

"He is all-world and there ain't nothing else you can possibly say," the Cardinals' safety said about the Vikings' star running back. "If my son decided to play offense, I'll tell him to look at Adrian Peterson tape."

Peterson was the Cardinals' focal point Sunday, yet during the Vikings' 35-14 win he was still spectacular. With 165 yards rushing (on 28 carries), Peterson has 1,581 yards this season to set a franchise record – with two games remaining.

Peterson's performance allowed the Vikings to rush for 239 yards, the most the Cardinals have allowed at University of Phoenix Stadium. It also allowed backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, subbing for the injured Gus Frerotte, to throw four touchdown passes among his 11 completions.

"We definitely had to get guys in the box for Adrian Peterson, but at the same time, as corners we have to hold up," cornerback Rod Hood said.

Peterson said he was "hot" after seeing ESPN analysts picking the Cardinals to win the game Saturday night. That helped serve as motivation. So too did the idea the Cards had passed on him in the 2007 draft.

"It is what it is," Peterson said. "I ended up in a good position. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I don't know, maybe you should ask those guys how they feel about it."

The Cardinals felt they should have done a better job on Peterson.

"I give him his props – I saw him do some stuff today that made me go, 'Wow, how'd he do that?' " defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. "He was running like he was desperate and running like he wanted to win that (NFC North) championship."

HOOD'S DAY

Hood was in the right place when rookie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie blocked a field-goal attempt from the edge, with the ball bouncing right to Hood so Hood could sprint 68 yards for a touchdown.

But Hood was also on the wrong end of three of touchdown passes – a 41-yard bomb to Bernard Berrian, a six-yard slant to Sidney Rice and a 59-yard spin-and-go to Bobby Wade.

Vikings coach Brad Childress, who was a coach in Philadelphia when Hood played there, said he wanted to "get after Rod Hood a little bit (since) I have a little history with him."

Hood, who has always been matter-of-fact about his play good or bad, was the same again Sunday.

"I know me personally, I was in position to make some plays and didn't make them," Hood said. "I'm looking forward to getting  back out there and redeeming myself."

HERE THEY COME

The Cardinals' offensive line had a rough day, but it wasn't surprising, given the Cardinals' 21-0 deficit in the first quarter and their seven rushing attempts for the game.

"They are a team that likes to (play defense) in third-down-and-long situations and when you are down 21-0, first-and-10 is third-and-long, basically," tackle Levi Brown said. "They were taking turns figuring out what kind of pass rush they were going to do and get pressure as often as they could on Kurt. We couldn't seem to get in the flow. The game pretty much went the way they wanted it."

The Vikings sacked Warner four times and hit him countless others. The pressure effectively took star receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin out of the game as well – the duo combined for 11 catches but only 86 yards.

"You don't want to get into that type of game," guard Reggie Wells said. "If we come out and we execute early, we can go from there. But we got behind and they got some guys who can go. It was their day today."

EXTRA POINTS

Backup quarterback Matt Leinart made a rare appearance Sunday at the end of the game, completing 3-of-5 passes for 28 yards. …

Defensive ends Antonio Smith (ribs) and Travis LaBoy (elbow) each left the game briefly Sunday but both returned to play.


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 12/14/08.

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