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Cardinals defeat Vikings 18-17 in final preseason game

© Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Cardinals defeated to the Minnesota Vikings 18-17 in their final preseason game.

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The Cardinals pulled out the comeback victory in a game where both teams played only backups and finished the preseason with a record of 2-1. They open their season Sept. 10 at Washington.

Arizona debuted its new all-white road uniforms in Minneapolis and fans were overall pleased with how they looked.

Fans react to Cardinals white road uniforms debut

The Cardinals ended the first half down 17-3, but then got some momentum going in the second half. The defense really stood out.

With David Blough under center, the Cardinals first touchdown of the day came on an incredible 26-yard connection between Blough and Davion Davis in the third quarter.

Davis, a 2019 Sam Houston graduate who has spent time with the Vikings, Browns, Texans and in the XFL and USFL, made an eye-popping, leaping grab near the goal line before falling in for a touchdown.

Blough next ran in a 5-yard touchdown with 10:50 left in the game, but he was unable to connect with Davis on the two-point conversion, which would have tied the game.

On the next Vikings drive, Sean Chandler intercepted Minnesota QB Jaren Hall to give the Cardinals the ball at the Minnesota 32.

Blough and the Cardinals then drove down the field to get to a goal-to-go situation, but a holding penalty forced them into a tough situation. They settled for a Matt Prater 27-yard field goal to take the lead for the first time in the game.

The Vikings were able to drive in their next possession, but Greg Joseph missed a 54-yard field goal.

On the Cardinals’ next drive, they went three-and-out, and the Vikings took over at their own seven-yard line.

Arizona got lucky, as Vikings’ quarterback Jaren Hall had a nice completion on a fourth down, but he was over the line of scrimmage, and the Cardinals forced a turnover on downs. They then just kneeled down to run out the clock.

A disastrous start

The Cardinals did not have a good start at all to the game. After winning the toss and deferring, the Vikings easily drove down the field for a touchdown.

Then, QB Clayton Tune fumbled the ball on a third down sack on the team’s first series. It was not a good play at all by the rookie.

The Vikings scored on the very next play to go up 14-0 less than six minutes into the game.

Big defensive day

Sean Chandler’s interception was far from the only big play for the Cardinals’ defense today.

In total, they had six sacks and eight tackles-for-loss. They were led by Zach McCloud, who was signed by the team Tuesday and had three sacks and six tackles in total.

Rookie OL injured

Jon Gaines II, the Cardinals’ fourth-round selection out of UCLA, injured his knee on the first play on offense and was deemed questionable to return.

Gaines is fighting for the starting center job.

QB Play

After the bad fumble on the first drive, Tune bounced back. He had some beautiful throws and did lead Arizona to a field goal, but no touchdowns.

David Blough came in towards the end of the second quarter and started his day with two three-and-outs.

He also responded well and led the Cardinals to the comeback victory. This was the second time this preseason he led a comeback victory, the first of which came in their preseason opener against the Broncos.

Colt McCoy did not play tonight.

Final Stats:

Clayton Tune: 9/12 for 85 yards (94.1 RTG)

David Blough: 11/22 for 93 yards, 1 TD (passing), 1 TD (rushing)

Prater Struggles

Matt Prater missed a 46-yard field goal in the first half and then missed a PAT on his next attempt. He did capitalize on the mistakes and drill what ended up being the game-winning 27-yarder.

Jesse Luketa Playing Everywhere

The Cardinals’ Jesse Luketa played linebacker, fullback and special teams today. Instead of having three captains at the beginning of the game, Luketa served as the team’s only one, representing all three groups.

What’s to come

The Cardinals next game will be their season opener on Sept. 10 on the road in Washington.

Teams have until Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 1:00 p.m. MST to get their rosters down to 53 players, so the Cardinals have aa lot of decisions to make.

We have already seen the Cardinals make a number of moves, including trading Isaiah Simmons to the Giants, Josh Jones to the Texans and trading for QB Josh Dobbs.

One of the biggest questions is who will be the Week One starter, as it appears to be a race between Colt McCoy and Dobbs with Tune and Blough having an outside chance.

Stay tuned for all of the updates on how their roster will end up.

Cardinals trade S/LB Isaiah Simmons to the New York Giants

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Brendan Mau is a college sports insider and general assignment reporter for Burn City Sports. You can follow him on X via @Brendan_Mau

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