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Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers: Key information and first quarter discussion

Everything you need to know about today’s contest

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Kickoff in Charlotte is just an hour away, as the Minnesota Vikings take to the road for the first time since Week 2 to do battle with the Carolina Panthers in Week 6 NFL action. Here is everything you need to know heading into today’s contest.

Date and Time: Sunday, 17 October, 2021, noon Central time

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Television Coverage: KSTP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates around the country, DirecTV Channel 708

Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 146, XM Channel 231, SiriusXM App Channel 820

Line: Vikings -2.5, Over/Under 45

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details.

Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 23, Panthers 20

Three Keys

1) Open up the offense - We know that Mike Zimmer wants to run the football, and with Dalvin Cook returning it might be even more tempting to do that. However, the Vikings’ passing game needs to be opened up a bit. Minnesota is currently second-to-last in the NFL in pass attempts more than 20 yards down the field, and with Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen lining up on the outside, that’s unacceptable.

2) Bring the heat on Sam Darnold - The Panthers have struggled a lot on the offensive line this year, and the Vikings are currently second in the National Football League with 17 sacks (after generating just 23 sacks all of last season). Sam Darnold has cooled after a hot start and has a tendency to hold onto the football too long, so hopefully Danielle Hunter, Everson Griffen, and company can make things difficult for him this afternoon.

3) Don’t let up - In nearly every game the Vikings have played this season, the Vikings have given up points at the end of the first half and/or at the end of the game. I’m really unsure why this continues to happen, but it’s something that needs to stop. The Vikings can’t afford to have lapses going into halftime in any of these games, particularly if they’re not getting the football coming out of the locker room. Hopefully the coaching staff can do something about this.

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As always, we will be putting together an Open Thread at the start of each quarter, so make sure to keep your eyes open for that and keep the discussion moving along.

With that, let’s get ready for some football here, folks. Hopefully we’ll be back here in about three hours and we’ll be happy going into the bye week rather than being pissed off for the next two weeks.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!