MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Vikings are going to have to surpass 58 yards passing to stay in the playoff chase.
"The way we've tried to structure our team, the philosophy lends itself to winning games like this when you are not completing a lot of balls down the field in a league where so many say that's the way you have to win," coach Leslie Frazier said, adding: "That's a formula for success."
"To win an ugly game like this is huge. That shows how good of a team we are," said Ponder, who finished 8 for 17 for 58 yards and two interceptions.
"I've got to be a lot smarter and make better decisions. That's for sure," said Ponder, who has seven turnovers in the past three games.
Two of them were turned into touchdowns last week at Washington.
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, filling in for the injured 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.
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.
NOTES: Peterson tied Robert Smith's franchise record with his 29th career 100-yard rushing game. ... The 5-foot-7, 185-pound Stephens-Howling finished with 104 yards on 20 carries, the first 100-yard game for the Cardinals since last November. ... The Vikings had only two first downs outside of their two touchdown drives. ... Cardinals right guard Adam Snyder suffered a bruised quadriceps in the third quarter and didn't return. For the Vikings, tight end John Carlson, who was their biggest free-agent signing but has just three catches for 8 yards this season, left the game with a concussion. ... Harvin returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, but Marvin Mitchell was called for an illegal block in the back to wipe it out.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press