Skip to main content

Rapid Reactions: Panthers stay winless, fall 21-13 to Vikings

RapidReactions_Thumbnail (5)

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers made enough plays on defense, that it should have mattered more.

But an offense that's continuing to search for an identity didn't necessarily find it Sunday, and the Panthers lost 21-13 to the Vikings to fall to 0-4 on the season.

It doesn't get any easier, with two straight road trips to see some of the league's most prolific offenses in Detroit and Miami before the bye week.

There were hints of progress, but on Sunday, the lack of continuity when they had the ball doomed them.

The Panthers managed just 232 yards, making their 38:29 time of possession number seem even more frustrating.

Bryce Young was sacked five times for 55 yards worth of losses, and turned it over on a fumble. And while there were some early attempts to run, that part of the game continues to elude them, as they finished with just 83 yards on 31 attempts.

The Vikings got their first win of the season thanks to a pair of touchdown passes to Justin Jefferson and a defensive score when DJ Wonnum picked up a Young fumble and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown.

The Jefferson outburst (he finished with six catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns) wasn't altogether unexpected, as he's one of the league's most explosive receivers, and the Panthers were running short in the secondary and got shorter as the day went.

Starting cornerback Donte Jackson left with a shoulder injury in the first half and didn't return, adding to a parade of defensive standouts who have been hurt already this year (cornerback Jaycee Horn and linebacker Shaq Thompson are on IR, and Thompson is done for the year).

231001 Vikings In-Game Edits-164

— The big play of the day was as big as it gets, Sam Franklin Jr.'s 99-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter.

Franklin's pick-six was the longest interception return, and longest scoring return in franchise history.

— The Panthers also got points off another defensive play, with a field goal late in the second quarter.

That one was set up by Kamu Grugier-Hill's interception, which fell into his arms after Kirk Cousins was pressured by outside linebacker Yetur Gross-Matos.

Gross-Matos has continued to get pressure as a sub this season after barely playing in the opener.

After that pick, kicker Eddy Piñeiro gave them a 13-7 halftime lead with a career-best 56-yard field goal.

View all the action from the Panthers' game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4.

Related Content