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(Sunday, November 7th)
Final Score: Minnesota 27, Arizona 24 (OT)
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - The Vikings scored two touchdowns in the final 3:34 of regulation to force overtime, and Ryan Longwell booted a 35- yarder 5:18 into the extra session to give Minnesota a dramatic 27-24 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at the Metrodome.
Brett Favre, in his record 293rd straight start, threw for a career-high 446 yards with two interceptions and two touchdowns, including a game-tying 25- yard strike to Visanthe Shiancoe with 27 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
"I felt confident we could win this game. I felt like we could have mixed the run with the pass, but I never would have guessed we would have passed for 400-plus yards," said Favre, who connected on 36-of-47 passes. "As many mistakes as we made, we were able to make just as many big plays."
Adrian Peterson had 144 yards from scrimmage and scored on the ground and through the air for the Vikings (3-5), who had dropped two straight and were in the midst of endless speculation regarding the future of head coach Brad Childress.
Derek Anderson got the start over Max Hall and played mistake-free football for Arizona (3-5), completing 15-of-26 passes for 179 yards with a touchdown to rookie Andre Roberts. Larry Fitzgerald amassed a season-high 107 yards on seven receptions for the Cardinals, losers of three straight.
Childress guided Minnesota to a North Division title and a trip the NFC Championship Game last season, which was an afterthought following a slow start, an apparent rift between him and some of his offensive stars and the abrupt releasing of All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss earlier this week.
The Vikings appeared to continue their free fall when Favre's 4th-and-goal pass from the one-yard line was knocked down in the back of the end zone with 6:26 to play and Arizona holding a 24-10 lead.
But the Vikings got the ball back at the Arizona 40-yard line less than two minutes later and needed just three plays to make it a one-score game on Peterson's four-yard run with 3:34 on the clock.
The Cardinals went three-and-out again, and Minnesota took over at its own 23 with 2:24 left in regulation. On the first play after the two-minute warning, Peterson took a short pass and turned it into a 33-yard gain to the Arizona 29. On third down from the 25, Shiancoe got behind Cardinals safety Adrian Wilson on a seam route up the middle and hauled in a perfectly-thrown pass to tie the game with 27 seconds to go.
"You can't say enough about [Favre]. Whenever he's your quarterback, you're never out of the game," Arizona nose tackle Bryan Robinson said.
Two sacks on the next series sent the game to overtime, and the Vikings came up with two more on the first possession of the extra session, the last by Jared Allen on third down.
Peterson churned his way for 30 yards to the Arizona 39 on the first play after the punt, and Bernard Berrian gained 22 more on a reception following an offensive holding penalty. Peterson was stopped just short of a first down at the Arizona 18 before Longwell split the uprights for the much-needed win.
Favre was picked off by Kerry Rhodes on the Vikings' first drive of the game. The safety intercepted the pass at his own 31 and worked his way down the left sideline. Just as he was about to score, however, Minnesota wide receiver Greg Camarillo came from behind and stripped the ball, causing it to bounce into the back of the end zone for a touchback.
Camarillo's 17-yard punt return gave the Vikings a short field a little later, and Peterson capped a 52-yard drive by taking a pass from Favre 12 yards into the end zone for a 7-0 lead 2:43 into the second quarter.
LaRod Stephens-Howling countered immediately, taking the ensuing kickoff back 96 yards untouched for his third career return.
The Vikings moved the ball inside the Arizona 10 before having to settle for a 21-yard Longwell with 6:22 remaining in the half.
The Cardinals had their first sustained drive late in the half to give them the lead, 14-10. Facing a 3rd-and-19 at their own 10 with 1:19 remaining, Anderson hit Fitzgerald for a 30-yard pickup down the left sideline.
Another completion and a scramble moved the ball to Minnesota's 30-yard line, where Roberts caught a pass on a short curl route, made two defenders miss and zigzagged into the end zone for his first career touchdown.
Percy Harvin, fighting for yards on the second-half kickoff, was stripped of the ball by O'Brien Schofield as he was going to the ground. Michael Adams scooped up the loose ball and went 30 yards the other way, and the Cardinals suddenly led 21-10.
Minnesota was knocking on the doorstep with 2nd-and-goal from the two with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third, but Favre was hit by Joey Porter just as he was throwing to Jim Kleinsasser at the goal line.
Rashad Johnson jumped the route and came up with the interception, and the Cardinals held the ball for the next 7 1/2 minutes before padding their lead on Jay Feely's 22-yeard field goal 2:20 into the final stanza.
Arizona is 0-5 all-time in the Metrodome in regular-season play...The Vikings had 28 first downs to Arizona's 13 and outgained the Cardinals, 507-225...Peterson rushed for 81 yards on 15 carries and caught four passes for 63 yards while notching his first TD reception since his first NFL game in 2007...Harvin, battling an ankle injury throughout the week, ended with a career-high 126 yards on nine receptions...Berrian had nine grabs for 89 yards...Rhodes and Cardinals defensive end Kenny Iwebema were carted off the field in the third quarter because of injuries...Porter recorded two sacks, while Allen had 2 1/2...Minnesota travels to Chicago for a divisional battle with the Bears next week, while Arizona hosts NFC West foe Seattle.
11/07 17:39:10 ET
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