Adrian Peterson came into Sunday’s game ready to play, however, the rest of the team did not.
Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings lost at home to the Carolina Panthers, 10-35. It was a poor performance for starting quarterback Matt Cassel, who was 32/44 and threw for 241 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. Those two interceptions were both to Mike Mitchell, and both of them eventually led to touchdowns for the Panthers.
Peterson had 10 carries for 62 yards, and two receptions for 21 yards. He didn’t have a career game, but it still wasn’t bad despite the team’s offensive struggle.
Cam Newton had quite a showing, which he needed in order to boost the morale of the rest of the Panthers. He completed 20 of 26 passes for 242 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had nine carries for 30 yards and a rushing touchdown of his own.
I think the picture describes it all. Christian Ponder and new quarterback Josh Freeman could only watch the loss from the sidelines, a neither one played (Ponder was active, Freeman was not). Cassel’s poor outing only showed further why the Vikings invested in signing Josh Freeman to help them out down the stretch.
After the first quarter, Carolina was leading 7-0 after a two yard pass to Steve Smith. The second quarter was more of the same for the Panthers, as Newton met up with Mike Tolbert on a 10 yard shovel pass to go up 14-0. The Vikings ended the half with a 22-yard field goal by Blair Walsh to bring the halftime score to 14-3.
The third quarter was all about the Panthers. Early on, Cam Newton hit Brandon Lafell for a 79 yard touchdown catch, and later in the quarter, ran the ball in himself for a seven yard score. The Panthers were up 28-3 at the end of the half and showed no signs of giving up.
The fourth quarter proved to be no different for the Vikings (1-4). They gave up a one yard run to Mike Tolbert to go down by 32 points. With a minute left, things started to look up for the Vikes however, as Cassel threw to tight end Kyle Rudolph for a 23 yard touchdown pass. But it was too little too late. Time had expired, and the game was over.
Maybe the whole Vikings organization was distraught by the tragedy that happened on Friday involving Adrian Peterson’s two year old son, who had passed away after being beaten by the boyfriend of Peterson’s mom.
Whatever the case may be, the Vikings are now looking at a 1-4 record, and a string of tough opponents up ahead. On the bright side, they get to play the winless Giants next Monday, so maybe then they will be able to get back on track.
The Carolina Panthers are now 2-3 and sit 2nd in the NFC South behind the unbeaten New Orleans Saints.