Minnesota Vikings: Eight Game Winning Streak Snapped

The Minnesota Vikings fell 31-24 to the Carolina Panthers this afternoon in Charlotte, after a crazy comeback to tie the game became moot by Cam Newton’s 62-yard run to set up Jonathan Stewart’s winning touchdown. The defeat ended the Vikings’ eight-game win streak. This loss also put their bid to clinch the NFC North on hold for a week.  The Detroit Lions kicked a late field goal to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Vikings began the day without two of their five starting offensive linemen.  Prior to the game, Pat Elflein and Mike Remmers were among the team’s inactive players. It got worse, left tackle Riley Reiff limped off in the third quarter, before being carted to the locker room with an ankle injury. Those losses forced the Vikings to shuffle their offensive line.  Rashod Hill moving from right to left tackle, Jeremiah Sirles from left guard to right tackle, and rookie Danny Isidora placed at left guard. Just one of their five regular starters – right guard Joe Berger – played his normal spot.

Case Keenum did his best, as he completed 27 of his 44 passes for 280 yards and two touchdowns, as well as adding 43 yards on five scrambles. He finished the day with three turnovers.

With the Vikings down 24-13 in the fourth quarter, Keenum found Adam Thielen for a 52-yard touchdown strike. He would then hit a two-point conversion to Blake Bell that pulled the Vikings within three. When Andrew Sendejo intercepted a Cam Newton, it set up Kai Forbath’s game-tying 27-yard field goal.

For all the Vikings’ resilience and guts, Newton made the play of the day. His 62-yard run towards the end of the fourth quarter put the Panthers at the Vikings’ 8 with just over two minutes to play. It set up Jonathan Stewart’s third touchdown of the game and put Carolina up for good.

The Vikings will be at the Cincinnati Bengals next week. They look to shake this one-off and attempt again to clinch the NFC North.

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Nick Ficorelli

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