It’s that time of the week again, where we take a look at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and their opponents for a particular week. On Sunday, the Vikings will make a trip to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers, and they have an opportunity to end their five-game post-bye “gauntlet” with a 5-0 record.
This will be the fourteenth game between these two teams, but only the fifth time they will get together at the Panthers’ house. The Vikings have a 2-2 record in their previous four trips to Charlotte.
As always, the facts, figures, and numbers included in this piece all come courtesy of the good folks from Pro Football Reference.
Total games between the Vikings and the Panthers: 13
All-time record: Vikings, 8-5
Total Vikings’ points scored, head-to-head: 236 (18.2 points/game)
Total Panthers’ points scored, head-to-head: 254 (19.5 points/game)
Longest Vikings’ winning streak against Panthers: 3 (6 October 1996 - 19 November 2000)
Longest Panthers’ winning streak against Vikings: 3 (9 September 2001 - 30 October 2005)
Most recent Vikings’ road win in series: 25 September 2016 (Final score 22-10)
Most recent Panthers’ home win in series: 20 December 2009 (Final score 26-7)
Biggest Vikings’ road win in series: 12 points, 25 September 2016 (Final score 22-10)
Biggest Panthers’ home win in series: 25 points, 30 October 2005 (Final score 38-13)
Current streak: Vikings, 2 wins
Yes, it’s been nearly eight years since the Panthers beat the Vikings in Carolina. (The teams have only played in Carolina twice since then.) That one was a cold and soggy Sunday Night Football matchup in Charlotte, and things were relatively miserable for the purple. Minnesota actually went into the locker room at halftime with a lead at 7-6, but in the second half they just couldn’t stop. . .Matt Moore? Yes, Moore had three touchdown passes on the night, and the Panthers put up 20 fourth quarter points to push themselves to a 26-7 win over the Vikings.
The last time the Panthers beat the Vikings anywhere was in 2013, with the Vikings coming off of their bye week and Adrian Peterson choosing to play following the death of his young son. The game. . .wasn’t close. Cam Newton accounted for four touchdowns, three in the air and one on the ground, and the Vikings didn’t find the end zone until there was a minute left in the game, when Matt Cassel found Kyle Rudolph to make the final score slightly less embarrassing at 35-10.
The Vikings have beaten the Panthers in their past two matchups, one of which was a memorable one at TCF Bank Stadium. Minnesota dominated that game from start to finish in a contest that included the Vikings blocking not one, but two punts and returning them both for touchdowns. One was by a then-unknown special teamer named Adam Thielen, who blocked the punt and recovered it himself for the score. The other was blocked by Jasper Brinkley and scooped up by Everson Griffen for another score. Those touchdowns, paired with two Teddy Bridgewater touchdown passes, gave the Vikings a 28-6 halftime lead, and they coasted to a 31-13 victory.
Then, there was last year’s game in Carolina. It looked ugly for the Vikings early on, as the Panthers marched down the field on their first two drives and put up an early 10-0 lead. However, Danielle Hunter registered a safety by sacking Cam Newton in the end zone, and that woke the Vikings up, as a 54-yard punt return by Marcus Sherels made the score 10-8 going into halftime. The Minnesota defense dominated the second half, sacking Newton five times after the break (part of their eight for the game), and keeping the Panthers off the scoreboard. Sam Bradford found Kyle Rudolph for the go-ahead touchdown, and Blair Walsh added a couple of field goals to give the Vikings a 22-10 victory in Charlotte.
That’s a quick look back at the history between the Minnesota Vikings and the Carolina Panthers. Hopefully the Vikings can get their second consecutive victory in Carolina and wrap up the NFC North division title.