Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers

February 3, 2021

This match-up pairs the up and down Panthers against the disappointing Vikings. Panthers have just came off of an easy 20-0 win against the Lions and the Vikings lost a bad game to the broken Cowboys.

The Panthers get the kickoff, but they punt and the Vikings get the ball at their own 32. On second and five, QB Kirk Cousins dumps the ball off to star RB Dalvin Cook and he gets 12 yards. A lot more small plays set up a 12-yard touchdown, which is caught by rookie WR Justin Jefferson. The Vikings are playing without WR Adam Thielen, so this will result in other WR’s like Jefferson, Bisi Johnson, and Chad Beebe getting lots of opportunities. Jefferson also has a good chance of getting Rookie of the Year, so this will just bolster his game. Other Rookie of the Year contenders include Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow.

Both teams punt next and now the Panthers have the ball. On the 12 yard line, they were about to score, but QB Teddy Bridgewater throws a pick! Vikings now have the ball back in their own territory, and they don’t do much as they punt. Bridgewater is able to redeem himself when he leads his offense to a touchdown. On third and eleven, he throws a short pass to WR Robby Anderson which turns into a 41 yard TD! There is still a little bit of time left, and the Vikings are able to knock in a field goal to take the lead again and make the score 10-7 right before the half.

The Panthers come ready after the break when on the first drive of the second half they force a fumble touchdown. Rookie S Jeremy Chinn recovered the ball after Cousins was sacked and dropped the ball for the TD. The Vikings get the ball back and on the first play of the drive, Cook takes it through the middle and the ball is stripped away from him and it turns into another defensive touchdown for the Panthers, two in a row! It was Jeremy Chinn again, and he makes the score 21-10! He also may be Defensive Rookie of the Year, with his biggest contender probably being Washington’s Chase Young.

The Vikings get the ball back and yet again, Jeremy Chinn gets a TD! I’m kidding, I’m kidding, the defensive TD’s end there, and the actual Vikings next drive is a punt. Panthers get the ball back and their drive results in a field goal attempt that is blocked, so nothing happens to the score. This seems to give momentum to the Vikings offense, and they are able to get a field goal. Some good catches by Beebe set up Dan Bailey’s 25 yard field goal.

The Panthers offense gets back on the field, and they are able to make some good plays, one includes Bridgewater going to Anderson for 34 yards. This and other smaller plays sets up Joey Slye’s 40-yard field goal, which is good and makes the score 24-13.

The Vikings answer back with their second touchdown, which is another Justin Jefferson pass. They go for two and get it when Cousins connects to Johnson. Panthers punt, but Beebe, the returner, muffs the catch and the Panthers recover, making yet another great defensive play. This sets up another field goal and the score is 27-21.

There is a little less than a minute left to play. The Vikings still have plenty of time to drive, and they do. In seven plays, they score a touchdown to take the lead by one! Chad Beebe redeems himself when he catches a 10 yard pass for the score. The extra point was blocked, but the blocker was offside, and after a redo attempt, Bailey makes the game 27-28.

Panthers won’t give up yet and they try to get into field goal range. Their first play is a deep throw to WR Curtis Samuel for 35 yards. After a couple more smart, short plays, the field goal range is from 54 yards, which is doable for Slye, but he misses!

The game is over after Cousins kneels, and it was very close until the end. The Vikings fight for the small chance to still get in the playoffs as they take another close win. Notable players include Jeremy Chinn, Justin Jefferson, Bisi Johnson, Chad Beebe, and Robby Anderson. 

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Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers