The Arizona Cardinals beat the Minnesota Vikings 23-20 at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday to secure a play-off spot. But they need to wait until Sunday to know if they have secured the NFC West title.
The Cardinals blew a 10-point fourth-quarter lead, but a 47-yard field goal from Chandler Catanzaro, his third of the game, with less than two minutes of the match remaining broke a tie and gave the home team a winning margin.
The Vikings had a chance to win it or at least force overtime but the veteran pass rusher Dwight Freeney forced a fumble by Teddy Bridgewater that was recovered by the Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell with five seconds to go.
The Cardinals (11-2) extended their winning streak to seven games and they can claim their first division title since 2009 if the Seattle Seahawks lose or tie at Baltimore on Sunday.
The Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer worked over a depleted Minnesota defence that was missing a handful of starters, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. He has 31 scoring passes for the year, breaking Kurt Warner’s single-season franchise record.
The loss was the third in four weeks for the Vikings, who are now jockeying to stay in play-off contention.