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3 Stats That Stood Out: Vikings at Panthers

The Vikings upset the defending NFC Champion Carolina Panthers 22-10 on Sunday to claim their second road win of the young season and improve to 3-0.

Minnesota's defense sacked Cam Newton eight times and intercepted him three times.

Here are three other stats that stood out:

0 catches by Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess

Xavier Rhodes, the Vikings largest cornerback, returned to the starting lineup after missing the first two games because of a knee injury. Head Coach Mike Zimmer mixed in Trae Waynes early and often, along with Terence Newman.

Waynes and Newman caught passes thrown by Newton, which was two more than the combination of two of Newton's largest receiving options. Funchess was targeted twice, and Benjamin was targeted just once.

45.6 net punting average by Jeff Locke

Locke and the punt coverage team were busy and highly effective. He punted seven times for a total of 339 yards, averaging 48.4 per punt, and worked with the coverage team to down three punts inside the Carolina 20-yard line, including two inside the 5.

Locke uncorked a 62-yard punt in the first quarter that Marcus Sherels prevented from going into the end zone for a touchback. The Vikings scratched the scoreboard a little more than a minute later when Danielle Hunter blasted through Michael Oher and Andrew Norwell to sack Newton in the end zone for a safety.

83 yards negated by Panthers penalties

The Panthers were penalized a total of 10 times for 65 yards, compared to six infractions for 42 yards by the Vikings. All but one of the penalties accepted against Carolina occurred when the Panthers had the football and negated 83 yards and a score.

The most damaging infraction was an illegal block called on Benjamin that erased a 56-yard catch-and-run on a screen pass from Newton to Fozzy Whittaker. A holding penalty against Ed Dickson also wiped a 20-yard run by Cameron Artis-Payne and pinned the Panthers deep in their territory. Minnesota recorded a safety when Danielle Hunter sacked Newton in the end zone two plays later.

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