The Carolina Panthers came out ready to play on Sunday, but the Minnesota Vikings did not. The Panthers obliterated the Vikings with a 35-10 victory, thanks to the mistake free play of Cam Newton and the emergence of Brandon LaFell in the pass game. The Panthers were just a minute away from holding the Vikings without a touchdown on Sunday, but nonetheless, things in Carolina are beginning to look bright for the 2-3 team.
The Panthers completed their second blowout victory of the season on Sunday, and unsurprising enough, Newton is the one who led them to victory. The third-year quarterback threw for nearly 250 yards on just six incompletions, but is was his four total touchdowns on the day that made him the player of the game. Newton connected with LaFell just four times, but the speedy receiver was able to turn one of his receptions into a 79-yard touchdown at the beginning of the second half, which confirmed that the Panthers were the better team.
Looking forward, the Panthers will be tested next week by the St. Louis Rams, who surprisingly dominated the Houston Texans 38-13 this Sunday. If Newton is able to continue playing at the level he did today, the Panthers should have no problem with the Rams next week, but No. 1 has been rather inconsistent this season, meaning next week’s game could turn into a battle.
While the Panthers’ defense seemingly shut down the Vikings’ offense this week, upon a closer look, it can be seen that the Vikings were affected by poor play calling from their offensive coordinator throughout the game. Adrian Peterson, who is largely recognized as the best running back in the league, carried the ball just 10 times on Sunday, despite having a 6.2 yards per carry average.
The Panthers were able to get out to an early lead on Sunday, thus forcing the Vikings to focus on throwing the ball, which subsequently gave Peterson only a limited amount of carries. Therefore, the Panthers’ offense helped their own defense, which ultimately led to a blowout victory for the Panthers that they hope they can carry into their crucial game next week.