It took the Vikings a while to get Cordarrelle Patterson involved in the game plan last year, but once they did, he turned into a Pro Bowler, getting more and more important as the season progressed. This season, the opposite has happened and Sunday against Carolina, he barely played at all.
Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen returned blocked punts for touchdowns in the first half against Carolina on Sunday, making the Vikings the fifth team to do it multiple times in the same game.
Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei is out for the second straight game with an ankle injury.
The Minnesota Vikings will not have starting running back Jerick McKinnon Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. He has been bothered by a lower back injury that needs a week off to heal. A committee of Matt Asiata (who missed last week’s game due to a concussion), Joe Banyard and Ben Tate will get the carries in McKinnon’s place. The Vikings have 11 players listed on their injury report and the Panthers have seven players listed on theirs.
Captain Munnerlyn flashed a wide smile when the subject of Carolina came up. The Minnesota cornerback will play his former team this Sunday.
Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Matt Kalil had more problems than just the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. After the game ended, he did not talk to the media and then had an incident with a fane just outside TCF Bank Stadium. Kalil apologized for dodging the media and called the incident afterward “no big deal.” The Vikings lost their other starting tackle Phil Loadholt for the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle.
The Minnesota Vikings face the Carolina Panthers in the middle game of a three-game home stand on Sunday. The Panthers are not living up to expectations after finishing with the second best record in the NFC last season. They have struggled with injuries on offense and poor play on defense. It is highly unlikely that either team will compete for the playoffs, but a win on Sunday will be a big momentum building moment toward next season.
The Minnesota Vikings face the red hot Green Bay Packers fresh off an embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears. The Packers enter the matchup after posting back-to-back 50+ point games. They are one of the hottest teams in the NFL. The Packers will be heavy favorites to win the game.
The Minnesota Vikings need their first round draft over the last few years to continue their development. The team is not considered a Super Bowl contender this season, so it is better to develop rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater properly to ensure the team is consistently at that level.
The Saints took control of the NFC South with a 28-10 victory over the Panthers last night, their first win in Carolina since 2011. New Orleans enters a three-game home stretch with a 4-4 record, while Carolina (3-5-1), which only has one win in its last seven games, travels to Philadelphia in 10 days.
The Saints are coming off their best game of the year after hammering Green Bay 44-23. However, they have not won a road game this year. The Panthers are hoping to continue that trend, and they will be bringing back a familiar face in running back DeAngelo Williams.
The Saints and Panthers are both 3-4 and yet tied atop the NFC South. New Orleans has an extremely quick turnaround after playing on Sunday night.
The Detroit Lions had a chance to maintain sole possession of first place in the NFC North, but lost to the Buffalo Bills at home in Week 5. Now, all four teams in the division are within a game of first place. The Lions are a passing offense, but their defense has been their better unit this season.
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The Carolina Panthers cut the face of the franchise, Steve Smith, and let the only other three wide receivers on the roster that caught a pass last season leave as free agents. Tight end Greg Olsen is the only proven receiver returning from last season’s squad. Olsen should be Cam Newton’s favorite target this season.