Vikings put the cat out with a 21-13 win against the Panthers
In a game full of penalties, fumbles and interceptions on both sides, the Vikings managed to secure a hard-fought victory against the Carolina Panthers with a final score of 21-13.
The first quarter brought a mix of ups and downs for the Vikings. Alexander Mattison led the charge for the Viking’s offensive rush with some great carries, positioning the team for a potential early score. However, like clockwork, Kirk Cousins once again throws an interception that turns into a touchdown, giving the Panthers an early lead. The Viking’s defense did their best to hold off the Panthers, but the Panthers utilized Chuba Hubbard for short-yardage plays and Adam Thielen for pass plays, systematically advancing quickly down the field. With both teams pushing back and forth, the Vikings were able to hold off the Panthers into the 2nd to just a field goal.
The second quarter saw a boom from both the Viking’s defense and offense. The new addition of running back Cam Akers showed immediate results with Cam Akers putting up yardage up the field and making a promising debut as Minnesota Viking. With Akers rush plays up the field, Cousins was able to connect with T.J. Hockenson and Justin Jefferson on key plays to make their first touchdown of the game.
However, the hits came on coming, with the Vikings’ defense being able to stop the Panthers and Vikings luck continued to falter. After several great plays by Mattison, K.J. Osborn and Jefferson, Cousins throws another pick to the Panthers’ defense. The Vikings’ defense ended up being the MVP and holding the Panthers yet again, the Panthers ended up kicking a field Field goal for a 56-yard field goal letting them take the lead once again to 13-7.
The third quarter saw several more ups and downs for both teams. Cousins and the Vikings offensive struggled to convert on 3rd down with Cousins taking huge hits including one sac. The Vikings’ defense yet again was left to take on former teammate Thielen. The Panthers took advantage of penalty flags from illegal contact from Akyleb Evans to put themselves in a scoring position. However, due to more flags against the Panthers, momentum swung in favor of the Vikings defense. With a huge stop from Danielle Hunter from a previous play, Harrison Smith was able to make a huge hit on Bryce Young that led to a fumble. The fumble was then recovered by D.J. Wonnum and run back for a 51-yard touchdown to take the lead back to 14-13.
The Vikings’ defense clutch once again, stopping the Panthers with huge defensive plays including a sack from Marcus Davenport on Young. With this huge stop by the defense, Cousins and the offensive strike hard with a strong drive from Akers and Jefferson for a touchdown making the game 21-13 at the end of the 3rd.
The fourth quarter found itself a battle of back and forth. In the end, Viking’s defense held off the Panther’s offense with major plays like another sock from Davenport, locking down the Panthers with Lowry making a defensive pass block, and to the end the Panthers’ offensive drive with a Smith sack to return the ball back in the Viking’s hands to seal the win.
The key takeaways from the game:
The Running Game Rhythm
The Vikings seem to have found the running game rhythm. With Mattison rushing for 95 yards and Akers making an impressive debut as a Minnesota Viking with rushes for 40 yards, the Vikings seem to have found success in their running game.
Defense Saves The Day
The Vikings’ defense did have its moments where it had a hard time containing Thielen and Hubbard of the Panthers, but they were able to succeed in many ways. From holding back 3rd down conversations to big plays from Harrison Smith and Danielle Hunter, the defense’s momentum must carry forward into these next key matchups.
Stop throwing interceptions
Cousins continues to be notorious this season for throwing interceptions and this game was no exception. To secure more victories, Cousins has to make better decisions in the pass play and avoid costly turnovers.
With this hard-earned win, the Vikings must keep this momentum as they head back home to face Patrick Mahomes and his last year’s Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs which could make the Vikings 1-4 if they aren’t prepared.