The Panthers had other ideas, though, leaning on 10-year veteran Stewart, who torched the Vikings on a 60-yard touchdown in the first quarter and finished with 16 carries for 103 yards and three touchdowns. Thielen could have had a much bigger day, but he dropped a four-yard touchdown and then caught it two plays later but the refs then overturned the touchdown on review because of a Thielen bobble. Here are five things we learned from Sunday's clutch victory by the Panthers. Carolina could pound the rock with conviction, while Minnesota's offensive line succumbed to so many injuries. Case Keenum threw for 227 yards and connected with Kyle Rudolph and Jerick McKinnon for the only two scores they needed. They ran just 21 times compared to 44 Keenum throws, which has not been their blueprint for success this season. Keenum had rallied the Vikings to knot the game at 24 when the Panthers had the ball at their own 30 on second-and-5. Possibly the best overall athlete to ever play the position, Peppers has always dazzled with his seemingly effortless style of play that often leads to bad days for quarterbacks.
Because instead of bowling into a clump of purple-and-white jerseys, Stewart ran untouched through all of them and into the end zone for the touchdown. So finishing tied with New Orleans won't be good enough for the Panthers. But on Minnesota's third to last offensive drive of the game, the Adam Thielen that the team had become used to in 2017 stepped up to the plate once again.
His final stat line of three catches for 59 yards and one touchdown won't blow you away, but there is no doubt that Funchess is the real deal.
It was far from a catastrophic loss for the Vikings, though, as they still hold the second seed in the NFC and finish with a favorable three-game schedule.
"We have to get our defense more rest time", Cam Newton said.
Lomachenko: Rigondeaux is Not a Big Win For Me, Not His Weight
Said Alex Bornote, Rigondeaux's trainer: "This is the fight the fans want to see and he has to go up two weight classes to do it". Junior featherweight world titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux has never had an easy time getting fights .
With right tackle Mike Remmers and center Pat Elfein inactive, the pressure was already on a depleted line to step up against one of the NFL's best front seven groups.
Standing in their way will be a guy they know well, even if he says he's a different player. He gave up a touchdown early in the game before getting benched. Linebacker Luke Kuechly said "we have to win them all", referring to a stretch that also includes home games against Green Bay Dec. 17 and Tampa Bay Dec. 24. They both came on the same drive for Minnesota, and one of them on third and sixteen, which basically kept Carolina's drive alive for a second score.
Newton completed 13 of 25 passes for 137 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Stewart broke off a 60-yard scamper to get Carolina on the board first.