The Minnesota Vikings’ first loss in over two months was characterized by potentially concerning injuries, ill-timed turnovers and big plays that took points off the scoreboard.
Here are the five biggest.
Adam Thielen’s catch on third down right before halftime momentarily gave the Vikings a 16-14 lead.
But then it was reviewed.
Only detectable in slow motion, Thielen bobbled the ball momentarily as he rolled out of bounds, and the play was (correctly) overruled. Minnesota settled for a field goal and missed out on four points.
The Vikings were good on third down defensively, holding Carolina to just 33.3 percent (5 of 15). Unfortunately, four of those conversions went for touchdowns, including this improbable throw by Cam Newton to escape the clutches of a near sack.
Cam ➡️ Funch = 🙌🙌🙌 pic.twitter.com/cXlMcNxjY6
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) December 10, 2017
Not only did this sack on third down knock the Vikings out of field-goal range, you’ll see the injury to Riley Reiff below. The left tackle did not return with an ankle injury and was seen with a boot in the locker room.
Riley Reiff got folded over on top of Julius Peppers pic.twitter.com/jcAWrsGtwM
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) December 10, 2017
Deflection Off Diggs
With the Vikings down 11 points in the fourth quarter, Minnesota was driving into Carolina territory when Case Keenum turned it over for the third time on the day. Both he and Diggs were culpable as the pass was high, yes, but probably should’ve been hauled in by the wide receiver. It was a wacky bounce that probably robbed the Vikings of at least three points.
And then, after an 11-point comeback by the Vikings to pull even at 24, the Panthers pulled off their second 60-plus-yard run of the day. After stifling the Newton read option for the majority of the day, Everson Griffen made a poor read, Linval Joseph failed to get off a block, and Newton took off for a backbreaking 62-yard run that led to a game-winning touchdown.
— Duane Rankin (@DuaneRankin) December 10, 2017