4 takeaways from Vikings' 31-24 loss to Panthers

Esther Moore
December 12, 2017

The Panthers kept their own postseason hopes alive, pulling even with the Saints in the NFC South.

The Panthers scored early and late, and the Vikings settled for field goals in the red zone, and both were the biggest stories of the game.

And the Vikings have plans for Carolina quarterback Cam Newton.

Part of a stacked 2008 running back draft class that included Darren McFadden, Jamaal Charles, Ray Rice, Chris Johnson and Matt Forte, Stewart has stood the test of time. In the words of Minnesota defensive-line coach Andre Patterson, the Vikings will "violently show up".

Jonathan Stewart: Stewart had 16 carries for 103 yards and three rushing touchdowns. Thielen, who many Panthers fans were introduced to in 2014 when he blocked and returned a punt off the foot of Brad Nortman for a touchdown, ranks fourth amongst all pass catchers in receiving yards with 1,056.

It was far from a catastrophic loss for the Vikings, though, as they still hold the second seed in the NFC and finish with a favorable three-game schedule.

"We had looked at that a little bit on the iPad during the game - how they had been playing the zone read", McCaffrey said.

Nov 13 2017 Charlotte NC USA Miami Dolphins running back Damien Williams is tackled by Carolina Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman, defensive tackle Kawann Short, middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and outside linebacker Thomas Davis
Credit Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Green Bay 27, (at) Cleveland 21 (OT): Brett Hundley threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams in overtime as the Packers rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter. No cheap shots, you just hit him like he's a running back. The Buccaneers (4-9) had five turnovers.

(At) Kansas City 26, Oakland 15: Kareem Hunt ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and the Chiefs shut down Derek Carr and his offense to snap a four-game losing streak. And in that span, he has taken care of the ball with a 7-1 TD-INT ratio, too, but his completion percentage (54.8) and yards per attempt (6.1) have remained low with Greg Olsen hurt and Kelvin Benjamin traded to Buffalo.

Frank Gore rushed for 130 yards on a career-high 36 carries for the Colts (3-10).

(At) Pittsburgh 39, Baltimore 38: Chris Boswell made a 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left and Pittsburgh's defense overcame a sloppy night to stop one Baltimore's last-gasp drive.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Running back Rod Smith had an 81-yard touchdown reception and then followed that with a 15-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter as Dallas manhandled hapless NY.

Prescott threw a go-ahead 20-yard score to Jason Witten with 7:38 to play. They will need a better effort across the board than they had against the Panthers. The rookie will likely bounce back, but he did not do enough to positively contribute this week. Fellow tight end Rhett Ellison finished off the successful drive with a 1-yard reception from Manning.

(At) Jacksonville 30, Seattle 24: Blake Bortles threw two flawless passes for touchdowns, Jaydon Mickens set up another score with a 72-yard punt return for the Jaguars. Again, dropped passes didn't help, either. The 49ers knocked out Texans quarterback Tom Savage in the second quarter. They did neither after losing 31-24 to Carolina at Bank of America Stadium. Then it was wide-open space for Newton, who was finally caught inside the 10-yard line. Tarik Cohen ran for 80 yards for the Bears, who rushed for 228 yards. He has thrown for 183 or fewer yards in four of the past five games, although he has seven touchdown passes with only one interception in that stretch.

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