A pair of Vikings who helped Minnesota get a win Sunday were also standouts across the league.
Pro Football Focus released its grades of the top 10 players from this past weekend's action, and Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes and defensive end Danielle Hunter made the list.
Rhodes, who had a pair of interceptions against the Cardinals, was the site's top-graded player. Rhodes leads Minnesota with four picks and 11 passes defensed this season. He also has 29 total tackles.
Rhodes was thrown at seven times by Carson Palmer and the Cardinals in Minnesota's victory. On those throws, Palmer had a passer rating of 0.0. That pretty much sums up the day from the Vikings' No. 1 cornerback, who not only shut down anything into his coverage, but capitalized on a blown play to take an interception back 100 yards for the score, blazing away from even the Cardinals' speedy receivers down the sideline to put vital points on the board.
Hunter was ranked 10th on the list. The second-year player had a pair of sacks in the fourth quarter to help Minnesota's defense limit Arizona to just a touchdown in the second half.
Hunter, a 2015 third-round pick, leads the Vikings with 7.0 sacks and is tied for the team lead with eight tackles for loss.
The Minnesota Vikings defense pressured Carson Palmer on 27 of his dropbacks (62.8 percent). That is the highest rate any QB has been pressured in a single game this season, and Hunter accounted for nine of those pressures on his own, from 35 pass-rushing snaps. Hunter had a pair of sacks (including swarming on Palmer late in the game as he tried to mount a drive of significance), two hits and five additional hurries to tie Everson Griffen for the team lead in pressures on the day.
Defense surged in second half
Although the Vikings lead 20-17 at the half Sunday, Arizona's high-powered offense had racked up 263 total yards and picked up 19 first downs.
The Cardinals collection of quarterback Carson Palmer, running back David Johnson and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald were all made their mark in the opening two quarters.
But Minnesota stepped up in a big way in the second half, as Tim Yotter of *Viking Update *broke down the Vikings defensive success in a 30-24 win.
*The Cardinals ran 29 plays in the second half and gained only 27 total net yards. Part of that was due to them losing 43 yards on sacks in the second half, meaning Palmer finished with only 2 net passing yards in the final 30 minutes. *
*(Vikings defensive end Brian) Robison said not much changed dramatically in the second half from a strategic standpoint. *
"Maybe just being more assignment-sound. Little slight adjustments. We didn't do anything major," he said. "Just playing ball, man. At the end of the day, sometimes you've got to want it more than the other guys, and hats off to Arizona. They're a very good offensive football team. They're going to make some plays. It's all about how you react to it and how you counteract adversity, and we were able to do that yesterday."
*After gaining 89 yards rushing in the first half, Johnson had only 14 in the second half. *