At TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings started the second half with the football against the Carolina Panthers, and started their first drive at their own 20-yard line following a touchback. Unfortunately, their first drive of the half resulted in a three-and-out, and Jeff Locke got away a pretty good punt, booting it 56 yards to force Carolina to start their first drive of the second half at their 20.
The Panthers got a quick first down on a run by Jonathan Stewart on their first play of the half, and two plays later they were into Minnesota territory. The Panthers managed to push down to the Minnesota 29-yard line, but Anthony Barr blew up an option play for a 3-yard loss, and Newton threw incomplete for Benjamin on third down. On 4th-and-4 from the Minnesota 32, the Panthers went for it, and Newton made the Vikings pay, as he found Philly Brown for a 32-yard touchdown pass to cut the score to 28-13. Brown beat Josh Robinson, who was falling down as Brown made the reception.
Minnesota started their next drive at their own 20-yard line following a touchback from Graham Gano. Unfortunately, the Vikings put together their second consecutive three-and-out in a fairly ugly drive that featured a false start. Ben Tate got his first carry as a Viking on the drive, gaining only one yard. The punt from Jeff Locke gave the Panthers a short field, as Carolina set up at their own 48-yard line.
Another big run from Stewart put the Panthers into Minnesota territory in short order, but Harrison Smith got a huge tackle for loss on Stewart on the next play. A couple of nice defensive plays later, and the Panthers were punting the ball away again. Brad Nortman actually got a punt away (as opposed to having it blocked), and pinned the Vikings at their own 7-yard line.
It looked like the Vikings were going to fashion a third consecutive three-and-out following a third-down scramble from Teddy Bridgewater, but Mike Zimmer challenged the spot of the ball (which looked to be a full yard short), and was successful, giving the Vikings a much-needed first down. On the next third down opportunity, Teddy Bridgewater hit a beautiful deep ball to Jarius Wright for 35 yards into Carolina territory at the 40. The Vikings moved ahead a little further, but Luke Kuechly sacked Bridgewater on third down to push Minnesota back to the 40 and out of Blair Walsh field goal range. Jeff Locke came in to punt the ball away, and he pinned the Panthers down at their own 8-yard line.
As we move to the fourth quarter of play, the Panthers are looking at 1st-and-10 from their own 21-yard line after a third-down run by Newton.
The Minnesota Vikings lead the Carolina Panthers by a score of 28-13 as we move to the fourth quarter of play at TCF Bank Stadium. A victory would allow the Vikings to match their win total from last season. Can they hold on and get it done?