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Arizona Cardinals struggle with run defense in loss to Vikings

Minnesota Vikings running back Latavius Murray (25) celebrates with teammate Adam Thielen, left, after a 21-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

The Arizona Cardinals fell 27-17 to the Vikings on Sunday and, in the process, struggled to thwart the Vikings’ run game.

Arizona trailed just 13-10 at the half but allowed two rushing touchdowns on 195 yards and, ultimately, incurred its fifth loss in six games on the season.

“Probably just couldn’t stop the run,” defensive back Budda Baker said. “We knew that if we stopped the run, they were going to have to pass the ball and we had a great game plan for the pass. But at the end of the day, we couldn’t stop the run. … I feel like that’s the main thing, that’s the main reason why we lost.”

Minnesota’s Latavius Murray entered the game with 106 yards rushing through five games, but ran for 155 yards on 24 carries with one touchdown against the Cardinals on Sunday.

“The opportunity on defense to come out and really try to stop the run, which we knew they were going to try to establish the run, and we didn’t do a great job: 195 yards rushing, unacceptable,” head coach Steve Wilks said on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

A lot of the Cardinals’ issues came when Minnesota ran between the tackles as Arizona set the edge.

“It was [between the tackles],” Wilks said. “A linebacker’s got to play downhill to get the double teams off. At the point of attack, we can’t take the path of least resistance. We backdoored a lot of things, and you can’t do that. You’ve got to stand your gap.”

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