Published: Wed, December 13, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Top 6 plays and highlights: Minnesota Vikings vs Panthers in Week 14

Top 6 plays and highlights: Minnesota Vikings vs Panthers in Week 14

Kawann Short #99 of the Carolina Panthers reacts aftera defensive play against the Minnesota Vikings in the third quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Vikings had five drops on the day, matching their total for the season.

The Minnesota Vikings' offensive line had four new faces or players in different spots from last week.

A loss occurred Sunday and life does go on, but I know I have seen enough of this 2017 Minnesota Vikings team to know they will bounce back.

Adam Thielen had two drops in the end zone, Kyle Rudolph was wide-open down the seam and dropped a pass, Stefon Diggs dropped a screen pass that hit his helmet and turned into an interception, and Laquon Treadwell dropped a slant pass that would have made a fourth-and-16 about fourth-and-8.

This game was one where every point mattered, and for the Vikings, it was also one where turnovers were crucial in determining the victor and loser. That can not happen against a team like Carolina.

The Vikings had only two penalties accepted against them, but they were consecutive 15-yard facemask calls that facilitated the Panthers' second touchdown drive of the game.

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Those two lead the way, but Carolina is getting pressure and production from nearly every defensive front player, as Kawaan Short has six sacks, Kyle Love 3.5 and Wes Horton three. The fact that he is on a team with a great coaching staff, underrated offensive line and weapons on both sides of the football has to have been everything he has asked for and more.

Minnesota will likely turn to Rashod Hill at left tackle if Reiff is forced to miss significant time.

After the Panthers squandered an 11-point fourth quarter lead, Newton broke free of the pocket and raced 62 yards for a key first down with 2 minutes remaining. The Vikings can not allow that. What Newton and offensive coordinator Mike Shula create, behind a strong interior offensive line, has led to the league's fifth-ranked rushing attack and a system that is tougher to scheme for than most in the NFL. "But when you have to pass it and the defense knows, they're teeing off".

The Vikings had multiple chances in the red zone to take the lead and take a little bit of pressure off of the defense, and that did not happen.

Reiff signed with the Vikings this offseason after he spent his entire career with the Detroit Lions after they drafted him in the first round in 2012 out of Iowa. If the Vikings expect to compete in the NFC, that has to change.

Overall, the Vikings had their opportunities to steal a victory in Carolina and control their own destiny to the No. 1 seed in the NFC. "They're pros, and they need to come in and perform".

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