Halftime: Vikings 14, Cardinals 7

MINNEAPOLIS -- A few thoughts from halftime at the Metrodome:

  • The Minnesota Vikings were fortunate not to gift the Arizona Cardinals three points just before halftime. Quarterback Christian Ponder has been shaky in this game, making the decision inexplicably to let him throw with 14 seconds left from his 21-yard line. Why the Vikings didn't take a knee on that series is beyond me. Ponder threw his second interception of the quarter on the play, but Cardinals place-kicker Jay Feely bailed him out by missing a 47-yard field goal attempt just before halftime.

  • Ponder has now thrown six interceptions, and committed seven turnovers, in his past nine quarters of play. His first on Sunday gave the Cardinals possession on the Vikings' 16-yard line and led to their only score.

  • The Cardinals have done a decent job pass-protecting for quarterback John Skelton. Defensive end Brian Robison has two sacks, but both came after Skelton broke the pocket and was unable to find a receiver downfield.

  • Tailback Adrian Peterson has been as explosive as we've seen him this season, despite a sprained ankle that cost him two days of practice this week. He has 92 yards on 11 carries, including a 27-yarder during which he dragged two defenders the final 10 yards. Peterson also snapped his streak of five games without a touchdown pass. Based on the way Ponder has played in the first half, I would expect the Vikings to ride Peterson heavily in the second half.

  • Receiver Jerome Simpson doesn't have a catch, but he set up the Vikings' first touchdown by drawing a 27-yard pass interference call.

  • Linebacker Marvin Mitchell's illegal block wiped out Percy Harvin's scoring return of the opening kickoff, but Harvin got on the board with a 3-yard pass from Ponder in the second quarter. Harvin has six offensive touches and has gained a total of 47 yards.