Week 3 Preview: Carolina at Minnesota

It’s been a long time since Panthers fans have had a lot to root for, but after two wins vs the Chargers and Bears, Carolina looks to extend their winning streak on Sunday as they take on the Vikings at the Metrodome. Carolina rallied from 17-3 to take out the Bears 20-17 at Bank of America Stadium Sunday, while the Vikings were stunned after being up 15-0 only to lose 18-15 to the Colts.

The key to success for the Panthers has been the fact they have been able to run the ball with rookie Jonahtan Stewart, and the QB play of Jake Delhomme has been good enough to give them a spark. The O-line has also stayed healthy, which has been a key as well.

For the Vikings, there is turmoil just two weeks into the season. Tarvaris Jackson has not gotten a vote of confidence from his coaches, and he is being benched this week for backup Gus Frerotte. Brad Childress and the team cannot afford to fall to 0-3, and that is why the team is playing desperate and making changes.

The run defense of the Vikings is still the best in the game, but the Panthers will do their best to try and test it, and then once they find it tough, will count on Delhomme to find friend Steve Smith, who returns to the lineup after a two-game suspension. Look for the Panthers to use a lot of ball control with Delhomme taking what the Vikings D gives him.

Jackson and RB Adrian Peterson lead the the Vikings, but it’s tough to see this team go through these growing pains with a lot of talent all over the field. That’s exactly why Childress will move to Gus Frerotte if the team gets off to another slow start. It’s almost a for sure that Jackson at one point or another is going to find the bench in 2008.

Look for this to be a low-scoring game controlled by the defenses. While the Panthers have a lot of momentum after a 2-0 start, the Vikings need a win in the worst way, and Peterson will lead the offense and will the team to a hard fought three-point win to get them back to 1-2.

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