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Game Preview: Vikings vs. Panthers

Posted Oct 9, 2013

MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. CAROLINA PANTHERS
WEEK 6 • SUNDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2013 - NOON CT

The Minnesota Vikings (1-3) will play host to the Carolina Panthers (1-3) in only their 2nd game at Mall of America Field on Sunday, October 13, 2013. The Vikings are coming off a bye following their first win of the season while the Panthers are coming off a 22-6 loss at Arizona.

The Vikings are coming off their best offensive performance of the season behind 140 rushing yards and 2 TDs from Adrian Peterson and 248 passing yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT and 123.4 passer rating from Matt Cassel.

Matt Kalil will face brother Ryan Kalil for the first time in their NFL careers. Their sister, Danielle, will sing the National Anthem prior to the game.

The Vikings defense has forced 12 turnovers through first 4 games, which ranks 4th in the NFL. Jared Allen recorded 2.5 sacks against Pittsburgh bumping his season total to 3.5. The last meeting between the two teams resulted in a Vikings’ 24-21 victory at Carolina on 10/30/11, Christian Ponder’s first win as a starter.

TELEVISION: FOX (Channel 9 in the Twin Cities)
Play-by-Play: Sam Rosen Analyst: Brian Billick
Sideline Reporter: Laura Okmin

RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTCN-AM 1130
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman
Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 10:00 a.m. CT

KFAN and KTCN serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, 5-state Vikings Radio Network.

STAT OF THE WEEK
Vikings WR Greg Jennings hauled in a 70-yard touchdown pass vs. Pittsburgh, marking his 7th 70-plus yard receiving touchdown, tied for 5th in NFL history and tied for 1st among active players.

NORSEMAN NOTABLES
• KR Cordarrelle Patterson earned NFC Special Teams Player of the Month for September. Patterson leads the NFL averaging 33.8 yards per kickoff return. He returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown at Chicago, tied for the longest kickoff return in the NFL this season.
• K Blair Walsh set a franchise record with 12 career 50 yard FGs. Walsh is a perfect 12-for-12 from 50 yards in his 20-game career. His 12 consecutive 50 yard FGs is also an NFL record.
• RB Adrian Peterson ran for his 12th TD of 60 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers (9/29/13), increasing his NFL record. The previous high of 9 was set by Jim Brown.
• Despite having an early bye, Peterson leads the NFL in rushing touchdowns (5) and is tied for 2nd in rushing yards (421).
• Peterson’s 61-yard touchdown run and WR Greg Jennings’ 70-yard touchdown reception marked the first time since 9/21/03 that the Vikings had a 60 yard run and a 70 yard pass in the same game.
• The Vikings are tied for 1st in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers with only 12 penalties against them.
• LS Cullen Loeffler will make his 144th appearance, tying Mike Morris for the most games appeared in by a Vikings Long Snapper.
• The Vikings signed QB Josh Freeman, a 1st-round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The Vikings currently have 10 1st-round picks on their roster, 9 of those were selected by the Vikings.
• The Vikings have 103 sacks from since the start of the 2011 season, 4th in the NFL in that span, trailing Cincinnati (109), Denver (108) and Baltimore (104).
• QB Matt Cassel passed for 248 yards against the Pittsburgh Steelers (9/29/13), the 2nd most by a Vikings quarterback making their first start.
• Cassel completed 10-of-10 passing attempts in the 2nd half against the Steelers, becoming the second Vikings quarterback since 1991 to complete all of his 2nd half passes with a minimum of 10 attempts (Daunte Culpepper, 11/8/04).

VIKINGS-PANTHERS CONNECTIONS

• Vikings Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave served as the Panthers Quarterbacks Coach in 1999 and as their Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach in 2000.
• Vikings Offensive Line Coach Jeff Davidson spent the 2007-10 seasons with the Panthers as their Offensive Coordinator.
• Vikings C Joe Berger was drafted by the Panthers in the 6th round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Berger spent the 2005 training camp with the Panthers before being signed to their practice squad.
• Vikings FB Jerome Felton was on the Panthers roster for 9 games during the 2011 season.
• Panthers DT Colin Cole was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Vikings and spent time on the Vikings practice squad during his rookie season in 2003.

FAMILY CONNECTIONS
• Vikings T Matt Kalil is the brother of Panthers C Ryan Kalil. The pair became the 3rd set of brothers in USC history to each earn 1st-Team All-America honors.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS
• Vikings WR Jerome Simpson hails from Reidsville, N.C.
• Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson grew up in Rock Hill, S.C.
• Vikings LB Audie Cole attended North Carolina State University.
• Vikings S Robert Blanton is from Matthews, N.C.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
• Panthers TE Richie Brockel and Vikings DT Chase Baker were teammates together at Boise State.
• A total of 7 players on both rosters played football at Southern California. Vikings QB Matt Cassel (2000-04), FB Rhett Ellison (2007-11), DE Everson Griffen (2007-09) and T Matt Kalil (2008-11) and Panthers C Jeff Byers (2004-09), DE Wes Horton (2008-12) and C Ryan Kalil (2003-06) were all members of the Trojans football program.
• Vikings rookies G Jeff Baca and P Jeff Locke played with Panthers T Nate Chandler at UCLA.
• Panthers DT Sione Fua and Vikings RB Toby Gerhart played together at Stanford.
• While Vikings Defensive Coordinator Alan Williams coached at William & Mary (1996-2000), Panthers Defensive Coordinator Sean McDermott played (1996-97) and coached (1998) there.

NFL CONNECTIONS
• Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and Assistant Head Coach/LBs Coach Mike Singletary played together with Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera for the Chicago Bears. The trio played a key part on the Bears defense in their victory in Super Bowl XX.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. PANTHERS
• Vikings DE Jared Allen recorded 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery against Carolina on 10/30/2011. It is one of four times in Allen’s career that he has recorded a sack and recovered a fumble in the same game.
• Vikings RB Adrian Peterson recorded a career-high 76 receiving yards in a 24-21 victory over the Panthers on 10/30/2011. Peterson also hauled in a career-long 63-yard touchdown reception in that game.
• In his 2nd career start, QB Christian Ponder was 18-of-28 passing for 236 yards and 1 TD. The 24-21 victory over the Panthers on 10/30/2011 was Ponder’s first career win as an NFL starter.
• In a 2011 game against the Panthers, CB Marcus Sherels returned the opening kick 78 yards, marking the longest return in his career.

VIKINGS-PANTHERS SERIES NOTES
• The Vikings have won 3 of their last 4 meetings against the Panthers.
• The Vikings and Panthers have played one overtime game, a 16-13 Vikings victory in 2006.
• This will be the 2nd regular season head-to-head meeting between Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier and Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera, former teammates on the Chicago Bears.
• The Vikings and Panthers have never met in the postseason.
• The Vikings were the first franchise to hand the Panthers back-to-back road losses with the Vikings victories in 1996 and 1997.

A WIN WOULD...
• Give the Vikings their 3rd consecutive victory over the Panthers at Mall of America Field.
• Give the Vikings their 1st win coming off of a bye week since 11/15/2009.
• Give the Vikings their 1st home win over an NFC South team since defeating Carolina on 9/21/08