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Carolina Panthers blow late lead to lose against Minnesota Vikings

"I think as a coaching staff we didn't get the job done today," Coach Matt Rhule said. "Any time you get two defensive touchdowns and you don't win, it's on us."
Credit: AP
FILE - Carolina Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater watches during an NFL football camp practice Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. The Panthers play the Raiders on Sunday, Sept. 13. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

MINNEAPOLIS — Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater's comeback came full circle on Sunday when he played at Minnesota. The Carolina Panthers blew their late lead, though, to lose against Minnesota Vikings in the final minutes of the game. 

FINAL SCORE: 28-27, Vikings.

Editor's Note: The attached video aired at an earlier date.  

Chad Beebe caught a 10-yard touchdown pass with 46 seconds left for Minnesota shortly after he muffed a punt that let Carolina pad its lead. Then Joey Slye missed a 54-yard field goal try with 1 second remaining that preserved a 28-27 victory by the Vikings over the Panthers. 

Kirk Cousins passed for 307 yards and three scores for the Vikings (5-6). There were 38 points scored by both teams in a dizzying second half that started with Panthers rookie Jeremy Chinn turning fumble recoveries into touchdown returns on consecutive plays from scrimmage.

Bridgewater was the Vikings' first-round pick in 2014 and had two promising seasons before a nasty knee injury in 2016 nearly derailed his career. The injury -- a dislocated knee and torn ACL -- was life-threatening and grotesque, according to several medical professionals.

Four years later, Bridgewater was enjoying perhaps his best professional season with Carolina, going into the game having thrown13 touchdown passes and running for three more for the Panthers, who are now 4-8.

Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey missed his third-straight game with a shoulder injury. The All-Pro player is listed as inactive, and that marks his ninth missed game of the season.

Meanwhile, Minnesota was without WR Adam Thielen (COVID-19 list), who leads the NFL with 11 touchdown receptions. But the Vikings (now 5-6) still had running back Dalvin Cook, who leads the league with 13 rushing touchdowns. 

Carolina's defense, though, was coming off of its best game of the season, a 20-0 shutout of the Detroit Lions.

The game kicked off at 1 p.m., ET.

Carolina Panthers rookie Jeremy Chinn scored touchdowns on consecutive plays against the Vikings in the third quarter. Trailing 10-7, the safety scooped a fumble by QB Kirk Cousins and ran it in 17 yards for his first-career touchdown, making it 14-10 Carolina. Zach Kerr was credited with the sack and forced fumble.

RELATED: Panthers rookie scores back-to-back touchdowns on defense

On the very next offensive play run by the Vikings, Chinn stripped running back Dalvin Cook and brought in another 28 yards for another score. The two scores happened in a span of just 10 seconds of game time.

Speaking after the game, Panthers Head Coach Matt Rhule said he's disappointed in himself and the coaching staff, citing Chinn's success. 

"I think as a coaching staff we didn't get the job done today," Rhule said. "Any time you get two defensive touchdowns and you don't win, it's on us."

Dave Campbell with the Associated Press contributed to this report.