Minnesota vs. Arizona: Report Card Grades for Each Vikings Unit

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Minnesota vs. Arizona: Report Card Grades for Each Vikings Unit
Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Minnesota Vikings moved to 2-0 under head coach Mike Zimmer with an exciting 30-28 preseason win over the Arizona Cardinals at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

Yes, we used "exciting" and "preseason" in the same sentence. You probably had to be watching to get it.

Vikings rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater led Minnesota on an eight-play, 73-yard drive in just 53 seconds, capping it off with a three-yard touchdown to Rodney Smith for the go-ahead score.

The Cardinals had gone ahead on a baffling play that looked like it was straight out of a Buffalo Wild Wings commercial. A botched snap on fourth down led to a scrum with a loose ball that ended up in the hands of running back Zach Bauman, who took it in to the end zone to give the Cardinals a late lead.

The officials reviewed the play, probably decided that they couldn't make heads or tails of it and kept it as it was called on the field. But Bridgewater's theatrics made the play moot in the end.

While it looked like Matt Cassel had all but sewed up the starting job with a great performance in the first half, Bridgewater played too well to call this battle just yet. The rookie went 7-of-8 on the last series and showed poise and confidence beyond his years in leading the winning drive.

Neither team will walk away from Saturday's game disappointed. The Cardinals' first-team units had a slight advantage over Minnesota's, and then the Vikings backups edged the Cardinals.

Overall, the Vikings outgained the Cardinals 439 yard to 326 yards, but Minnesota played its first unit for almost a quarter longer.

It was a very solid outing for the Vikings that ended with smiles all over the field. Yes, it was only a preseason game, but for a team that needs to learn how to win, it's a huge step in the right direction.

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