The last time the Minnesota Vikings visited Arizona, everything changed.
"Until you just brought it up, I hadn't even thought about it," said Wells, now the Cards' starting left guard. "That was ages ago. There are probably only a few guys left that were even on that team. That was my first start, so it was something to remember."
The Cardinals scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes after gaining all of 15 total yards on their previous seven drives in the game. The Vikings looked like they would cruise into the postseason. But the Cards scored and recovered Neil Rackers' onside kick to get a final chance.
A loss would have given the Cards the No. 1 overall draft pick, one they could have used on Eli Manning. (Instead, picking third overall, the Cards ended up with Larry Fitzgerald the next spring).
Multiple Vikings were left devastated on the Sun Devil Stadium turf.
"I've blocked that out of my memory," Vikings center Matt Birk said this week. "I have no idea what you're talking about."
Asked about the last time he saw the play, Birk was blunt. "Rearview mirror."
The ending wouldn't even be the same if it happened today. Poole's second foot did not come down in bounds; at the time, the officials ruled he was forced out and legalized the catch. The force-out rule no longer exists.
"You see a clip every once in a while," Wells said. "I know we were out of the hunt at that point, but it was definitely a great game to be in. You couldn't ask for anything more the way it ended. It was a good one."
There is little question the Cardinals will have one major goal in mind Sunday, and that is trying to make sure the NFL's leading rusher, Adrian Peterson, doesn't have a huge game.
"Every given play he can take it to the house," Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said. "We have to be able to wrap up, because one mistake can cost you seven points."
Peterson already has eight 100-yard games this season and his 1,413 yards rushing anchors an offense that runs for 140.4 yards a game. The Cardinals, however, have allowed more than 87 yards rushing to an opponent just once in six home games and their rush defense seems to play at a higher level in Glendale.
Nevertheless, Peterson said if the Vikings execute, Minnesota's run game will be effective no matter how much a team gears up to stop the ground game.
"I believe so," Peterson said. "I don't say that being cocky or anything, but each week teams come in with definitely one focus and that's to stop the run and continuously we have been successful still."
MOREY A GAME-TIME DECISION
Special-teamer Sean Morey is listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, but coach Ken Whisenhunt said Friday Morey will be a game-time decision. Fullback Terrelle Smith was absent again for personal reasons; Whisenhunt said Smith's status will also be reevaluated Sunday. Wide receiver Steve Breaston (ribs) is officially questionable but he practiced fully and should be fine.
For the Vikings, defensive end Jared Allen was limited Friday with his bad knee but he is expected to play in the game.
Contact Darren Urban at email@example.com. Posted 12/12/08.