Bad things always seem to happen when the Panthers punt – or attempt to punt – to the Vikings.
Minnesota’s Marcus Sherels gave the Vikings a first-half jolt with a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown in their 22-10 victory. Two years ago in a win against the Panthers, Minnesota blocked two punts in the first half and returned both for touchdowns.
“The one had nothing to do with the other,” long snapper J.J. Jansen said.
That might be true, but Sherels’ touchdown allowed the Vikings to trail only 10-8 at halftime after being outgained 205 to 34 in total yardage.
Joe Webb and Colin Jones looked to have a shot at Sherels, who made two cuts and was gone.
“There were a couple of guys who had chances to make a couple of plays early on in the coverage and we got sealed up through the middle and he got outside,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “Once a guy gets into your second wave of guys, you’re in trouble. That’s exactly what happened.”