Ryan Longwell’s 31-yard tie-breaking field goal with 2:43 left could not be countered by Panthers’ kicker Olindo Mare’s 31-yard attempt, which went wide left with 26 seconds remaining, preventing the Panthers the chance to take the Vikings into overtime, as they lost 24-21 to Minnesota in Charlotte on Sunday.
Adrian Peterson piled up 162 yards of offense and two touchdowns to lift the Vikings; this despite a stellar three-score afternoon by Cam Newton, who threw for 290 yards through the air. However, it was the rookie’s two lost fumbles that led to 14 crucial Vikings points – with Minnesota cashing in just two plays after each Newton fumble.
405 offensive yards was outdone by an effective outing by rookie Christian Ponder, who led a 13-play, 72-yard game-winning drive by completing all five of his pass attempts for 53 yards, including a key third-down conversion to Percy Harvin for 11 yards on 3rd & 7 from the Minnesota 18.
At the end of the day, the Panthers played another game where the offense and Cam clicked but the defense couldn’t make the stops in the second half to help aid the big-play offense.
Steve Smith: The electrifying wideout recorded his fifth 100-yard game of the season, catching seven passes for 100 yards and a score.
Next: Bye Week – vs. Tennessee Titans on Sunday November 13, 1 ET.