John Skelton hit Andre Roberts for a 6-yard scoring pass with 1:48 left to pull the Cardinals (4-3) within one score, but they tried an onside kick and Peterson ended the game with a tough inside run for just Minnesota’s the second first down of the second half.
Seven games into his comeback from reconstructive surgery on his left knee, Peterson is in prime form.
“There’s still a little missing. You guys probably think I’m crazy, but it is,” Peterson said. “I feel good. I’m not going to complain. I’m just going to keep working and just keep getting better each week.”
Skelton went 25 for 36 for 262 yards and two turnovers, taking the job from Kevin Kolb (damaged ribs).
Many of the throws he missed were way off the mark, but the lack of time he had in the pocket made it difficult to judge his performance.
The Vikings sacked him seven times, giving the Cardinals an NFL-most 35 allowed this season. Antoine Winfield delivered a jarring stop on fourth-and-1 at the Minnesota 17 midway through the third quarter.
Then with 6:16 left on fourth-and-10, Skelton was taken down near midfield in a swarm led by Kevin Williams.
“Nobody’s ready to call it a season. We’re going to get back to our winning ways, starting with San Francisco this week. It’ll be another dogfight. NFC West at home. We’ve just got to be ready,” Skelton said.
After starting 4-0, the Cardinals have scored a total of 33 points.
“We like when teams come out and want to throw the ball on us. We know we have good guys on the back end, and we know we have a heck of a good pass rush,” said cornerback Chris Cook, who helped limit Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald to 29 yards on four receptions.