As with any game, the Vikings have plays they want to build on and plays they'd like to take back from Minnesota's one-point loss to Arizona Sunday.
Mark Craig of the Star Tribune looked at topics on both sides of the coin for his "5 Extra Points" column that offers takeaways from each week's matchup.
Craig pointed out that while Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson played well overall against his former team, there was one play that Peterson would have liked a do-over on. Craig wrote:
Peterson, who earned eight Pro Bowl berths and three first-team All-Pro honors in his 10 years with the Cardinals, said he had only one play he wanted back: the 15-yard touchdown pass to [DeAndre] Hopkins in the corner of the end zone on third-and-10.
"D-Hop ran a dig," Peterson said. "I was squeezing top down on the dig. I have to keep my eyes on my receiver. I'm driving him and obviously he can see what the quarterback is doing. Kyler [Murray] rolled out to his right, broke it off and rolled to his left and found D-hop on the scramble drill."
Craig also spotlighted Vikings linebacker Nick Vigil, whom he said – somewhat tongue-in-cheek – needs to "work on his toe taps."
Murray's 12-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter wouldn't have happened had Vigil gotten both feet down in bounds with a fumble recovery one play earlier. [Rondale] Moore lost the ball at the 2-yard line.
"The ball just kind of popped into my chest," Vigil said. "I was joking with the guys on the sideline that I have to start working on my toe taps."
Vigil's fumble recovery was reversed by replay and a holding call on A.J. Green was enforced. Vigil had his second straight standout game as a three-down backer replacing the injured Anthony Barr. He had eight tackles and the first pick-six of his career. A great read and an even better return resulted in a 38-yard touchdown that put the Vikings up 30-24 one minute into the second half.
View the game action photos from the Vikings-Cardinals game during Week 2.
Another observation by Craig was that Minnesota had a "good plan" for edge rusher Chandler Jones, who recorded 5.0 sacks and two forced fumbles against Tennessee Week 1. Craig noted that Jones "had a relatively quiet game Sunday with no sacks, no tackles and three quarterback hits."
Jones moved from side to side throughout the game. The Vikings threw a lot of quick passes and used tight ends to help set the edges (Tyler Conklin was blocking Jones on the left side on the 64-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn). Fullback C.J. Ham chipped in, and even receivers were chipping Jones on their way out.
Vikings receive 'B' grade for Week 2 performance
CBS Sports' John Breech gave the Vikings a “B” grade for their performance at Arizona, pointing out positives despite the team being unable to leave the desert with a win.
Breech emphasized disappointment in a missed 37-yard field goal at the end of the game by Greg Joseph, who earlier in the matchup made two 52-yard field goals but also missed an extra point. Breech wrote:
The Vikings offense certainly played well enough to win – Kirk Cousins threw three TD passes and Dalvin Cook rushed for 131 yards – but Joseph's [miss] ended up costing Minnesota the game. Defensively, the Vikings came up with some big plays, including a pick-six, but ultimately, the team had no answer for Murray, who single-handedly totaled 431 yards and four touchdowns.
The Cardinals were graded just a bit higher, receiving a "B-plus" from Breech for their home opener.
Murray might be the most electrifying player in the NFL this year. One week after totaling five touchdowns, the Cardinals QB almost topped himself with four more TDs (three passing, one rushing). Murray, who threw for 400 yards, did make a pair of major mistakes by throwing two interceptions, including one that was returned for a TD. Fortunately for the Cards QB, though, Arizona was able to survive the turnovers thanks to a big game from Matt Prater, who hit two field goals, including a 62-yarder just before halftime. Murray also got some unexpected help from rookie Rondale Moore (seven catches for 114 yards, one TD), who is looking like he could be a weapon in this offense going forward.
Ezra Cleveland makes PFF's 'Team of the Week'
Every week, analytics site Pro Football Focus highlights the top performances from around the league in its "PFF Team of the Week," and one Viking was included in the Week 2 lineup.
PFF tabbed Ezra Cleveland as the team of the week's left guard. Cleveland received a career-high grade of 84.2, which ranked fourth best among guards in Week 2.
The other offensive linemen tabbed by PFF were Eagles left tackle Jordan Mailata, Jets center Connor McGovern, Cowboys right guard Zach Martin and Washington right tackle Samuel Cosmi.
Aside from Cleveland, only two other NFC North players were included in the Week 2 roster: Bears linebacker Roquan Smith and Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson.