TV Schedule: Sunday, Oct. 13, 1:00 p.m. ET, FOX
Stadium: Mall of America Field
Weather: High 66, Low 56
Line: Minnesota (-2.5)
The Carolina Panthers and head coach Ron Rivera are in hot water after an extremely lethargic start to the 2013 season with a 1-3 record through five weeks. Luckily for them, they play against another 1-3 and equally-struggling team that could salvage the season and cool Rivera’s hot-seat down a bit. Cam Newton has gotten off to a slow start like the rest of the Panthers, passing for 885 yards and six touchdowns to go along with another 123 rushing yards and a score. While he is completing over 57 percent of his passes, his five interceptions through four games is not something that has helped this offense. DeAngelo Williams seems to be an ageless wonder at running back, running the ball 74 times for 330 yards, but failing to reach the endzone so far in 2013.
While the Minnesota Vikings are coming off a win in what would seem like way that would cure this team’s woes moving forward, it actually surrounded the team with more of a controversy at the quarterback position. Matt Cassel led the team to its first victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers overseas in London, but Christian Ponder is still considered the starting quarterback of the Vikings — for now. However, with the signing of Josh Freeman to a $3 million contract, the quarterback situation got even more cloudy. Jerome Simpson is the team’s leading receiver, but don’t sleep on the Greg Jennings who had a breakout team against the Steelers and has 14 catches for 252 yards and two touchdowns on the season. Adrian Peterson, as always has provided the punch needed in the run game, carrying the ball 92 times for 421 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, the Vikings are one of the worst units in the NFL in terms of yards allowed per game and they also have a tough time stopping the passing attack of opponents. In fact, the Vikings have allowed the third-most total yards as well as passing yards per game in the league. Carolina ranks third in terms of yards and points allowed per game while most of the top defensive categories rank in the top-10.
PREDICTION: Panthers 24, Vikings 28