The Carolina Panthers defeated the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon, 31-24. Here are all the highlights, the game recap and the final score.
In one of the best games of the weekend, the matchup between the Carolina Panthers and the Minnesota Vikings did not disappoint. Carolina was about to win this one easily when Minnesota made things interesting late. Thanks to an amazing Cam Newton run, the Panthers were able to snap the Vikings’ eight-game winning streak.
Carolina won the ball game 31-24 to improve to 9-4 on the year. Minnesota falls to 10-3 on the season and could be out first place in the NFC at the end of the day. The biggest difference in this game was the play of the two offensive lines. Carolina could pound the rock with conviction, while Minnesota’s offensive line succumbed to so many injuries.
Vikings quarterback Case Keenum was outplaying Newton for most of the ball game. However, a makeshift offensive line was a recipe for disaster against a ferocious defensive front of the Panthers. Luke Kuechly and company managed to keep the Vikings offense in check. A few internal miscues by the Panthers were what ultimately allowed Minnesota back in the game.
This win is huge for the Panthers, as it helps them on their quest to getting back in the NFC playoffs. Though they have the same record as the division rival New Orleans Saints, New Orleans completed the season sweep of the Panthers last week down in The Big Easy. Carolina’s path to the playoffs likely will have to come as a wild card team.
Minnesota blew a golden opportunity to win the NFC North outright with a win today down in Charlotte. Instead, the Vikings lost and their two rival teams still in contention in the Detroit Lions and the Green Bay Packers won in Week 14 to keep the divisional race alive for at least another week.
Carolina is far from a complete team. Much of this has to do with Newton’s inability to throw the football with any accuracy. He only completed 52 percent of his passes at home, albeit against a solid Vikings defense. If the Panthers can run the ball with Jonathan Stewart as the primary back, then they’ve got a chance to win multiple playoff games this season.
Minnesota is still one of the better teams in the NFC, but a porous offensive line will sink them faster than they could ever imagine in the NFC playoffs. Keenum and company battled, but the Vikings could now be on the outside looking in at home-field advantage in the NFC playoff picture.
- Jonathan Stewart: Stewart had 16 carries for 103 yards and three rushing touchdowns.
- Luke Kuechly: Kuechly had 14 tackles, eight solo and a sack
- Adam Thielen: Thielen had six catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.
The Vikings will be back home for the first time in a while in Week 15. They will host the Cincinnati Bengals for a 1:00 p.m. ET kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Dec. 17. CBS will have the telecast.
The Panthers will host another NFC North team in Week 15. They will have to take on the Green Bay Packers with possibly Aaron Rodgers at starting quarterback for Green Bay. Kickoff from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte will be at 1:00 p.m. ET on Dec. 17. FOX will have the telecast.