The last time the Arizona Cardinals went to Minnesota, they played an 0-4 Vikings team that was just a couple weeks away from benching quarterback Donovan McNabb.
They lost the game by a score of 34-10, and it wasn’t even that close.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns — all in the first quarter — and the home team went into the half with a 28-3 advantage.
Needless to say, the Cardinals know the importance of getting off to a fast start Sunday. They remember what happened the last time they failed to do so at the Metrodome, though Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt says last year’s loss doesn’t matter save for the fact that his team must play better this time around.
“This is a different year, different team,” he said. “Motivation should be that we’re playing against a good football team on the road, so we’ve got to go in there and play well, there’s no question about it.”
The Vikings, though, represent a bit of a different challenge this time around. Christian Ponder is the quarterback, Adrian Peterson is recovering from injury, and Percy Harvin is the centerpiece of the team’s offense.
That — along with simply the need for a win — should be enough to get the Cardinals fired up for this game.
Even still, this game does carry a little extra motivation for linebacker Daryl Washington, who remembers last season’s loss quite well.
“It was my birthday last year, so I take it more personal than maybe the other guys,” he said.