MINNEAPOLIS — Za'Darius Smith had three sacks to help Minnesota's defense hang on against Kyler Murray, and the Vikings beat the Arizona Cardinals 34-26 on Sunday for their fifth consecutive victory.
Dalvin Cook rushed for a season-high 111 yards and a touchdown and Kirk Cousins passed for two scores and ran for another for the Vikings (6-1), who stayed unbeaten at home in coach Kevin O'Connell's rookie year.
Murray passed for 326 yards and a season-high three touchdowns, including a one-handed grab for a score by DeAndre Hopkins with 47 seconds left in the second quarter, but he threw two second-half interceptions that proved costly for the Cardinals (3-5).
The Vikings went 31 yards in four plays for a touchdown after the first one, a dangerous heave by Murray under pressure from his own end zone.
The second pick, a throw way behind Zach Ertz, came on the drive right after Cousins hit K.J. Osborn on third-and-2 from the 5 for a 34-26 lead. That was set up by a fumbled punt return by Greg Dortch at his 25.
Hopkins had 12 catches for 159 yards in his second game back from suspension, Rondale Moore had seven receptions for 92 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Murray's always-dangerous ability to leave the pocket kept an active Vikings defense honest all game.
But the Cardinals crossed midfield on each of their last three possessions over the last half of the fourth quarter while trailing by one score and never got closer than the 37.
Former Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks dragged down Eno Benjamin just short of the marker on fourth-and-4 to turn the ball over with 2:39 left. Out of timeouts on their last drive, Murray was sacked by Smith at the 44 with 10 seconds remaining. Then Harrison Phillips brought him down for a big loss on the last play to end the game.
The Vikings have won all 11 matchups in Minneapolis since the Cardinals moved to Arizona in 1988.
Greg Joseph, who missed an extra point for the second straight game, has missed five consecutive field goals at U.S. Bank Stadium. His 56-yard attempt on the final snap of the first half was so low it hit Cardinals nose tackle Leki Fotu in the facemask.
Jared Allen donned a cowboy hat and rode a black horse onto the field at halftime for his induction ceremony for the club’s Ring of Honor. Fans received a fake mullet attached to a headband in tribute to Allen, a three-time All-Pro defensive end in six seasons with the Vikings from 2008-13.
Cardinals: LG Max Garcia (shoulder), who started last week after Justin Pugh's season-ending knee injury, and LT D.J. Humphries (back) were inactive. OLB Dennis Gardeck (ankle) sat out for the second game in a row, RB James Conner (ribs) missed his third straight game, C Rodney Hudson (knee) was sidelined for a fourth consecutive game.
Vikings: Ross Blacklock replaced Jonathan Bullard (illness) at the base DE spot. ... DE Dalvin Tomlinson (calf) left in the third quarter.
Cardinals: Host Seattle next Sunday, their first of three straight games against NFC West foes.
Vikings: Visit Washington next Sunday, the first trip there for Cousins to face his former team since coming to Minnesota in 2018.