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Vikings aftermath, and an answers all-call

Steve Wilks was always concerned. That went without saying. But for a coach who has always tried to be the steady voice with whatever problems the Cardinals are having, the frustration felt a little more palpable after Sunday’s loss to the Vikings. The Cards are a team with little – perhaps no – margin for error in many ways. They had chances twice close in to come up with first-half touchdowns Sunday and could not, and you can play the game of whether those missed-out-on 11 points could have given a win in a 10-point loss or not, but for bigger-picture reasons, those are scores the Cardinals needed. For confidence. For belief. (Especially when they still have not scored in the third quarter this season.)

Instead, they didn't score. They came up empty on third-down conversions (something I didn't even realize until the game was over.) Now they have more injured offensive linemen – both starting guards left the game. And the (albeit struggling) Broncos arrive Thursday.

"We have to find answers," Wilks said of his offense. Details were not forthcoming.

-- The Patrick Peterson trade stuff … well. Wilks called it “ludicrous." Peterson waved it away. To me, it makes little sense. In a league in which turnarounds from year-to-year happen all the time, why would you deal Peterson when you'd have to use whatever good pick you got … just to draft a high-profile cornerback? It's like what the Raiders are facing after trading Khalil Mack and needed a pass rusher. Those that say the Cardinals won't be good when Peterson is still good, I'm not sure how you know that. If Josh Rosen trends up and makes a big jump next year – totally possible – then you'll want P2.

-- Corey Peters is joining Chandler Jones in having a very good season.

-- What's hard to understand about the struggling run defense is that it feels legitimately like all-or-nothing. The Cards do fine – and then get gashed for 15 or 20 yards or more.

-- I have no idea what punters around the league are doing, but Andy Lee deserves to get Pro Bowl consideration.

-- There's a Thursday game but there is still a Tuesday mailbag. Click here to send a question.

-- It was nice to see Markus Golden get his first (half of a) sack since getting hurt, and because of his shortened season last year, that's Golden's first any-kind-of-sack since his big 2016 season.

-- The Cardinals started targeting Larry Fitzgerald more – a team-high eight. He did have five catches, his most since the opener. But he still only gained 39 yards. Then again, when the offense has these many issues, Fitzgerald is going to get swept up in the undertow.

-- It's a short week for everyone. Back to the practice field Monday. For now, time to fly home.

WR Christian Kirk hauls in a 35-yard pass in Minnesota.
WR Christian Kirk hauls in a 35-yard pass in Minnesota.

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