By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer
The Carolina Panthers roared into Mall of America Field and took no prisoners as they handled a Minnesota Vikings’ team who had heavy hearts for All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, 35-10.
Peterson loss his 2-year old son Friday after an alleged abuse by the boyfriend of the child’s mother Wednesday, when the infant was hospitalized.
“It felt good to get back out there, get into the swing of things,” said Peterson. “Offensively we weren’t able to get anything going, create any drives, be productive in the run or pass game. I’m just disappointed with in the loss today.”
But the outcome of the game came down to executing, which the Panthers (2-3) and the Vikings (1-4) didn’t.
“Well, it’s kind of what we’re going to do and we’re going to do the best we can to make things happen,” said Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera. “I think these guys bought into it. I’m real excited about the fact that our 3rd down efficiency, we were 7-for-12 or 13, I thought that was outstanding. Being 2-for 2 on 4th down is big. Again, it goes back to playing consistent football. Real pleased with what we did on the defensive side.
“A little disappointed at the end, we had an opportunity at the end to hold them down a little bit more but I give credit to Minnesota for not quitting and fighting.”
Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton had his best game of the season as he completed 20 out of 26 passes for 242 with four touchdowns (three passes, one rush).
“I wouldn’t say that. I just think that this week, we set the tone early in this game, a week before this game even started,” said Newton. “It all started with a great week of practice; a great week of preparation, and a lot of guys made plays when their opportunity was called. Excellent job by the defense for getting us the ball, as well as being an opportunistic offense, when your number is called, whether it is a check down, or a shot call, guys are making plays out there. That is what we did. We came in here and beat a good team.”
Unfortunately, Vikings’ quarterback Matt Cassel did not give Minnesota much of a fighting chance after throwing two interceptions, which resulted into two scores for the Panthers.
Will quarterback Josh Freeman’s number be called next week?
“It’s the same as always,” said Cassel. “I have to get prepared, and whatever coach decides, I have to be accountable. We just have to see what decisions are made. Again, just like the last three weeks, I never know what’s going on until I’m being told by coaches, and I’m sure it will be very similar to what it’s been for the past few weeks. We will see.”
Game Notes by Courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings
-Kyle Rudolph’s 9 receptions is a record vs. Carolina in the series.
-Rudolph’s 97 receiving yards rank fourth most vs. Carolina.
-Rudolph set a career high with 9 receptions. His total ranks 5th most by a tight end in a single game.
-Cullen Loeffler tied a team record for most games played as long snapper.
-Cassell’s consecutive pass completions ranks 10th in team history (final 11 vs. Pittsburgh and first one vs. Panthers).
-Cassel’s 44 passing attempts is a record vs. Carolina.
-Cassel’s 32 passing completions is a record vs. Carolina.
-Cassel’s 241 passing yards rank third most vs. Carolina
-Peterson moves into 6th place for most rushing yards in first seven seasons.
1) 11,226 Eric Dickerson, 1983-89
2) 10,650 LaDainian Tomlinson, 2001-07
3) 10,172 Barry Sanders, 1989-95
4) 10,160 Emmitt Smith, 1990-96
5) 9,608 Walter Payton, 1975-81
6) 9,332 Adrian Peterson, 2007-13
7) 9,322 Jim Brown, 1957-63
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