NFL Scores Week 8, Vikings Vs. Panthers: Christian Ponder's Team Beats Cam Newton's, 24-21

Cam Newton may have outplayed Christian Ponder, but it was Ponder's Vikings that got the victory in Carolina.

The 2011 NFL season has seen more than its fair share of competent rookie quarterbacks. In Week 8, one of the more competent ones got a lot of help to beat the most spectacular one for his first NFL victory, as Christian Ponder's Vikings topped Cam Newton's Panthers, 24-21.

Newton was typically excellent for Carolina, with a couple of big blemishes: he racked up 293 yards through the air and three touchdowns, and another 53 yards on the ground to lead all Panthers rushers, but also coughed up two fumbles. It didn't really matter, though, because the Panthers defense couldn't hold either of the two leads Newton and the offense gave it, and Carolina never led at the end of a quarter.

You can credit Ponder for that, too, if only for guiding Minnesota's balanced attack. He threw for a more modest 236 yards and one touchdown, but had no interceptions, and Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin both scored on the ground for the Vikings.

Newton rallied the Panthers late, too, but Olindo Mare missed a potential game-tying field goal with under two minutes to go.

The Giants improve to 5-2 on the year with the victory, while the Dolphins fall to 0-7 with the loss.

For more on the Vikings, visit Daily Norseman. For more on the Panthers, visit The Phinsider. SB Nation has you covered for the rest of Week 8's NFL action, too: check out all the Week 8 NFL news and scores and Week 8 fantasy stats, and Week 8 NFL highlights in our dedicated StoryStreams, and hit SB Nation's NFL hub for plenty more.

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