National Football League
Preview
Minnesota at Carolina
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, September 25, 2016
Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

The Minnesota Vikings are undefeated in spite of one potentially devastating injury, but they might have a tougher time surviving the latest blows to their offense. The Vikings – minus star running back Adrian Peterson – put their unblemished record on the line when they travel to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.



Peterson will miss three-to-four months after needing surgery to repair a torn meniscus and tackle Matt Kalil was placed on injured reserve, further depleting a Vikings offense that already lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a season-ending knee injury in the preseason. The key matchup, though, likely will be Minnesota’s stout defense against reigning MVP Cam Newton and Carolina’s potent offense. There was some speculation as to whether the game would be played in Charlotte in light of violent protests in the city that erupted on Tuesday night, but the NFL announced it plans to go forward with the game, a decision Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis supports. “This game absolutely should be played Sunday,” Davis told reporters. “I look at football as a way of bringing people together. This is a tough time right now in our community and our city, and we need something that’s going to bring people together with all that’s going on right now.”

TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Panthers -7. O/U: 43



ABOUT THE VIKINGS (2-0): Quarterback Sam Bradford was excellent in his Vikings debut, completing 22-of-31 passes for 286 yards and two touchdowns in last week’s 17-14 win over Green Bay. The question is whether or not he will have the same success without Peterson, whose workload falls to Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata. The Vikings might have to lean even more on a defense that has forced three turnovers in each of the first two games and kept both opponents well under 100 yards rushing.

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (1-1): Carolina had some trouble putting away San Francisco in last week’s 46-27 victory, as the Panthers rolled up 529 yards but also committed four turnovers. Running back Jonathan Stewart is sidelined by a hamstring injury, meaning Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne will pick up the slack for the league’s leading rushing attack. The defense has been excellent when it isn’t hurt by poor field position resulting from turnovers, as Carolina ranks seventh in total defense but 20th in scoring defense.



EXTRA POINTS

1. Carolina has won 14 straight home games.

2. Minnesota WR Stefon Diggs’ 285 receiving yards are the second-most through two games in Vikings history, trailing only Gene Washington’s 324 in 1969.

3. Newton has accounted for 20 touchdowns (17 passing, three rushing) in his last five home games.



PREDICTION: Panthers 23, Vikings 16


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Minnesota 2-0 W2 21.0 15.0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-0 - - 1-0
Carolina 1-1 W1 33.0 24.0 1-0 0-1 1-1 0-0 - - 1-0
Last Meeting
Minnesota Carolina
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/30/14 CAR 13 MIN 31 210 92 118 348 178 170
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Minnesota T. Bridgewater 71.4 138 2 0
Carolina C. Newton 51.4 194 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Minnesota M. Asiata 14 52 3.7 0
Carolina J. Stewart 12 85 7.1 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Minnesota G. Jennings 5 45 9.0 1
Carolina G. Olsen 5 59 11.8 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Minnesota G. Jennings 1
Carolina P. Brown 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Minnesota S. Bradford 71.0 286 2 0
Carolina C. Newton 57.5 547 5 2
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Minnesota A. Peterson 31 50 1.6 0
Carolina F. Whittaker 19 113 5.9 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Minnesota S. Diggs 16 285 17.8 1
Carolina K. Benjamin 13 199 15.3 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Minnesota S. Diggs 1
Carolina K. Benjamin 3