BLOG: Panthers Face Another Tough Test in Vikings

Minnesota Vikings (10-2) Vs. Carolina Panthers (8-4)

Sunday, Dec. 10

Kickoff: 1 p.m.

TV: WFMY News 2

Last Meeting: Vikings beat Panthers 22-10 - Sept. 25, 2016

Last Week: Vikings Beat Falcons 14-9, Panthers lost to Saints 31-21

Panthers hang on for a 31-24 victory! Jonathan Stewart's three touchdown day was huge and the defense forced three turnovers.

Stewart leaps over the defense with his third touchdown of the day! Panthers lead 31-24 with 1:47 left.

What a run by Cam Newton! First and goal for the Panthers!

Third and goal from the 5 and Keenum is sacked by Kawann Short. A field goal is good and we're tied at 24 with 3:07 left.

Great play by Bradberry on second down and goal to knock the ball away from Stefon Diggs at the last moment.

Wow, McCaffery can't reel in the catch that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and the Vikings get an interception and have the ball inside the 10. A possible game-changing play there. 

Adam Thielen with a 52-yard touchdown catch gives the Vikings new life. The two-point conversion is good and it's 24-21 with 5:36 left. 

James Bradberry gets the Panthers' second interception of the day!

Luke Kuechly shoves Keenum out of bounds for the sack and Minnesota attempts a long field goal. The 54-yard kick is wayyyyyyy wide! No good.

END THIRD QUARTER: Panthers 24, Vikings 13

Julius Peppers with another sack! The veteran continues his great season. The sack kicks Minnesota out of field goal range. 

After a field goal, the Panthers go up 24-13! They forced a turnover on a Keenum fumble to lead to the TD. The Panthers' defense and Stewart have been the stars of the day so far.  

Newton avoids the sack and finds Funchess all alone for a touchdown! Amazing play by Newton to escape the defense, stay alive and have the awareness to find Funchess. 21-13!

Great pass from Newton to Funchess for the first down at the Minnesota 21. 

HALFTIME: Panthers 14, Vikings 13 - The overturned touchdown at the end of the half could loom large in a close game. The Vikings' two face mask penalties aided a touchdown drive for Carolina that could make the difference too. 

Case Keenum fires a dime to Adam Thielen in the corner of the end zone, but it's ruled incomplete. Panthers still lead 14-13 with seven seconds left in the half.

A big pass interference penalty near the goal line gives Minnesota the ball inside the 5. 

Vikings facing third down and 7 at the two-minute warning. Ball at their own 35.

A 3rd and 10 deep pass is incomplete and the Vikes will get the ball back with 2:45 left before half and three timeouts.

Stewart keeps chugging along. Six carries and 81 yards for the veteran now with his two touchdowns.

Minnesota comes up short on third down and will have to kick a field goal. It's good and it's 14-10 Panthers with 5:02 left in the half.

Two nice runs by Jerick McKinnon give the Vikes the ball in the red zone. 

Big play by Captain Munnerlyn to break up the pass there. Minnesota punts again and Panthers get the ball at their own 36.

Rudolph drops what would have been a big first down catch and Keenum completes a short pass on second down. It's incomplete on third down and Minnesota has to punt. 

Jonathan Stewart with a 1-yard touchdown run and the Panthers go back up 14-7 early in the second quarter!

End of the first quarter: Panthers 7, Vikings 7

Devin Funchess with the nice toe tap on the catch along the sideline. Panthers have first and goal.

Another face mask call negates a sack for the Vikings. 

Panthers get a first down after a face mask call bails them out of a 3rd and 16. Anthony Barr grabbed Christian McCaffrey's face mask on a quick screen.

Brenton Bersin with a sensational catch in traffic. Lands on his head but looks to be okay. His 3rd catch of the year.

The Vikings tie it up on a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph. Keenum seemed to settle down more during that drive. 7-7. 

Panthers having no problems pressuring Case Keenum so far. 

Great job by the offensive line on the touchdown run to coordinate blocks and find their man.

Jonathan Stewart with the 60-yard touchdown run on third and 1! Extra point is good and Panthers are up 7-0. 

Daryl Worley with the interception, the Panthers' fifth of the season!

Minnesota starts out with possession and face third and long after a pair of run plays. Case Keenum makes a nice move to evade pressure and find the open man for a 1st down.

Here's today's starters for Carolina and some pregame shots from sports reporter Patrick Wright:

Pregame thoughts: With four games left, the Panthers are in the midst of a playoff hunt with worthy challengers and  little margin for error. 

From one division leader to another, the Panthers schedule doesn't let up this week. After losing to New Orleans last week, they're one game behind in the NFC South from the division-leading Saints, who own the tiebreaker.

Kalil Back: Good news on the injury front for the Panthers, First-string center Ryan Kalil is expected to start after missing all but two games this year. Tight end Greg Olsen is expected to play too. Linebacker Shaq Thompson is out. 

RELATED: Panthers Fall to Saints in Battle for Division Lead, 31-21

NOTES: Running back Christian McCaffrey is fifth among NFL rookies in all-purpose yards (1,005). Wide receiver Devin Funchess averaging 86.5 yards per game with three touchdown catches since team traded Kelvin Benjamin to Buffalo. Mario Addison has five sacks in last six games and 16 ½ sacks in last 19 games. Linebacker Thomas Davis has 34 tackles, three sacks in past four games vs. Vikings. Panthers cornerback Captain Munnerlyn played last season for Vikings. Panthers only have four interceptions, none of which are by their cornerbacks. Kicker Graham Gano has better percentage on field goal attempts (23-of-24) than extra points (24-of-26). 

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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