David Newton, ESPN
Newton and the Panthers have lost the swagger that helped them to an NFL-best 15-1 regular-season record last season. The confidence that allowed them to overcome costly mistakes and penalties is gone. Costly mistakes seemingly turn into more costly mistakes. Sunday’s 22-10 loss to the Minnesota Vikings highlighted that. Once the Vikings sacked Newton for a safety to make it 10-2 late in the first quarter, it was like the energy went out of the offense. The offensive line didn’t even bother to pick Newton off the ground. “After the safety, it was good riddance,” Newton said. Good riddance? In the first quarter? With the lead? That hardly sounded like the Newton of a year ago, the one that always seemed to bounce back from a sack or an interception to make something special happen during his NFL MVP season. This sounded like a quarterback concerned. Confused.
Jonathan Jones, Sports Illustrated
Sunday’s game had shades of what Denver was able to do to Carolina in Super Bowl 50. The Broncos also held the Panthers to just 10 points, and Kelvin Benjamin was as effective in this game as he was in street clothes on the sideline in Santa Clara. Newton didn’t even target Benjamin, who had 108 yards and two touchdowns last week, until there were three minutes left in the game. Afterwards, Newton said it was “really baffling and wowing” that Benjamin didn’t have any touches, and the 6' 5" receiver would only say he runs his routes.
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By Matt Vensel, (Minneapolis) Star Tribune
Having lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and now down their star running back and starting left tackle for possibly the rest of the season, the short-handed Vikings arrived at Bank of America Stadium on Sunday eager to prove with an upset win over the mighty Carolina Panthers that they still have plenty of talent and fight.
Thanks to a sack-happy defense and timely plays on special teams and offense, the Vikings stunned reigning league MVP Cam Newton and the Panthers with a 22-10 win, in the process making a convincing case that they’re the team to beat in the NFC.
Steve Reed, Associated Press
The Minnesota Vikings keep finding ways to overcome injuries –and keep finding ways to win football games. Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph, Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a score and the Vikings snapped the Carolina Panthers’ 14-game home winning streak 22-10 on Sunday.
The Vikings put the clamps on Cam Newton, intercepting the league’s reigning MVP three times and getting eight sacks, one of those resulting in a safety by Danielle Hunter. The eight sacks were the second-most ever against Newton. Said Newton: “They were dictating to us after they got the momentum.”