The Panthers started the quarter with the ball in a goal-to-go situation, but a big pass deflection from D.J. Wonnum on third down to force the Panthers to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Eddy Piniero to make the Carolina lead 10-0.
The Vikings then answered back on their next possession, sparked by a nice kick return by Ty Chandler. Minnesota faced a 4th-and-2 in Carolina territory, and Kirk Cousins connected with Justin Jefferson to keep the drive alive. Jefferson, who had a touchdown taken off the board in the first quarter, made up for it to finish the drive, hauling in a 4-yard pass from Cousins for the Vikings’ first score of the afternoon to make it 10-7.
Carolina punted it away on their next possession, and the Vikings started from deep in their own territory. After the two teams exchanged punts, Minnesota got the ball back at their own 30-yard line just after the two-minute warning. They pushed all the way down to the Panthers’ 21-yard line. . .and then it happened again. Cousins was hit as he threw and the ball flew way up in the air and was intercepted by Kamu Grugier-Hill and returned to midfield.
That resulted in a 56-yard field goal from Piniero, and the Vikings went into the locker room at the half down 13-7.
The Vikings are moving the football but, as they’ve done all season, continue to shoot themselves in the foot over and over and, as a result, they’re trailing at halftime in Charlotte, 13-7. Come in and join us for the third quarter, won’t you?