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Carolina Panthers At Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

Jamie McDonald


Date: 13 October 2013
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: HHH Metrodome
DirecTV Ch 707
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 228
Sirius Ch 85
TV Announcers: Sam Rosen
Brian Billick
Know Thy Foe: Cat Scratch Reader
Line: Minnesota -1.5, O/U 44 (thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 20, Panthers 17
Final Score:

Here are the ground rules for the Game Threads:

-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

-Thou shalt make an attempt to keep the swearing to a minimum. Understandable that it will slip occasionally, but do try to limit it. If you really feel the need to curse, use the spoiler tags to keep it covered up. We'll get the sentiment.

-Thou shalt not feed the trolls. Rather, thou shall simply point them out, and they shall be banished to the fires of Mordor. Or Wisconsin. Whichever we feel is more harsh at the time.

-Thou shalt not engage in racist, sexist, or other such insulting rhetoric. Somebody disagreeing with you does not make them racist or sexist. It means they disagree with you. Talk it out like adults.

-Thou shalt not bait the fans of other teams into trolling.

-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, it's been a heck of a week here, to say the least. In just about an hour or so, we will finally be back to Minnesota Vikings football. . .I think we can all agree that we're all going to be pretty happy with that.

So, what do the Vikings need to do today to get their second consecutive victory?

1) Get on the board early - In their three losses, the Carolina Panthers have held their opponents to just a field goal in the first half, and have had the lead going into the locker room in each of those games (7-3 over the Seattle Seahawks, 7-3 over the Buffalo Bills, and 6-3 over the Arizona Cardinals). They were outscored in the second halves of those games by a combined 49-16, including the Cardinals putting up a 19-0 second half on them last week. The Panthers haven't allowed a first half touchdown this year, and they haven't allowed any team to score in the first quarter at all thus far. Carolina has a quality defense, and if the Vikings want to come out on top in this one, if would help them to get started early.

2) Get to Cam Newton - The former #1 overall pick has had a pretty rough go of it thus far. He's been sacked 15 times in Carolina's first four games, and after completing nearly 70% of his passes in the Panthers' season opener, he has struggled to clear the 50% mark in the three games since. In the Panthers' game last week against Arizona, Newton threw three interceptions and was sacked seven times. The Minnesota pass rush started to come to life in the Week 4 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London, and with Newton getting sacked on over 10% of his dropbacks, they could put together a big performance this week, too.

3) Control third down - The Panthers have been one of the best teams in the National Football League so far this year at converting on third down. Their 47% clip is good enough for fourth-best in the NFL. The Vikings have actually been one of the best teams in the league in stopping third downs this year, with their 47% mark on defense being the third-highest in the league. On the other side, Carolina's defense is just 18th in the league in stopping third downs, while the Minnesota offense is 11th in the NFL in converting them. If the Vikings can maintain their own drives while getting the Carolina offense off the field, it will go a long way towards their success.

It's getting closer to kickoff time at the Metrodome, ladies and gentlemen! We hope you enjoy the game thread, and hopefully we'll all enjoy the results when it's all said and done.