Coming off of the bye week one would assume that the Vikings would be on top of their game. Having that extra week to prepare and get ready for the game today would do a team good. Then today’s game happened.
The obviously unprepared and humdrum Vikings came completely apart at the Metrodome in an embarrassing 35-10 loss to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers trampled all over the Vikings this afternoon. Newton threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another; he completed 20 of 26 passes for 242 yards. The Panthers also dominated time of possession— 36:27 to our 23:33.
And the answer to our prayers Matt Cassel wasn’t any better. This was his second start in place of the benched Christian Ponder. He was intercepted twice today and was completely out of sync with his receivers. While he did lead a touchdown drive in the final minute it was a moot point and in vain. Today’s game cancelled out his strong debut over Pittsburgh in London.
And Adrian Peterson, whose light is normally our own, was snuffed out today. He was limited to just 62 yards on 10 carries — half on a single third-quarter carry.
While this game was heartbreaking to watch, there were some bright spots that made you believe just a little. Kyle Rudolph caught a 23-yard touchdown pass and Blair Walsh kicked a 22-yard field goal to account for the Vikings scoring. But it pretty all hope was gone with that.
The Vikings are now 1-4 and fall to 0-2 at the Metrodome, falling farther out of contention. This game now reveals the infinite troubles that are beyond their mediocre quarterbacks.
The Vikings consistently had no answer for Newton’s versatility out of the read-option. He rushed for 30 yards and kept the Vikings defense off-balance and always guessing at the line of scrimmage. After letting Newton get sacked seven times last week by Arizona, the Panthers learned their lesson and tightened up their protection and kept the Vikings’ pass rushers at bay.
The Vikings can now look “forward” to next week when they go on the road to face the 0-6 New York Giants for a Monday night football game. October 21, 7;30 on ESPN, radio KFAN-FM 100.3.