Vikings short on stars, long on wins
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Vikings keep finding ways to overcome injuries —and to win. Sam Bradford threw a touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph and Marcus Sherels returned a punt for a score as Minnesota snapped Carolina's 14-game home winning streak 22-10 on Sunday.
The Vikings put the clamps on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, intercepting the reigning league MVP three times and getting eight sacks, one resulting in a safety by defensive end Danielle Hunter. The eight sacks were the second most ever of Newton. "We have a great team, the best team I have been a part of," said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen, who had three sacks. "We come from every area on the field, and we get sacks."
Said Newton: "They were dictating to us after they got the momentum."
The Vikings improved to 3-0 despite missing running back Adrian Peterson, offensive tackle Matt Kalil and starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater because of injuries.
The Panthers averaged 42 points in their previous three home games but did little after taking a 10-0 lead. The Vikings held Carolina wide receivers Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess without a catch.
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn said the Vikings' focus was on shutting down Benjamin: "We just knew where Benjamin was the whole time. Funchess, we weren't worried about him. It was Kelvin Benjamin. Me personally, I think No. 17 (Funchess) is not that good, so we weren't really worried about him."