Adrian Peterson ran for just 62 yards, allowing defenders to tee off on Matt Cassel, and the Minnesota Vikings defense couldn't keep things together in a 35-10 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon.
Cam Newton recovered from a rough outing in Arizona where he threw four interceptions, recording 272 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns. Newton was almost perfect, fueled by an effective Panthers run game that gained 131 total yards.
Minnesota will likely look to usher in the Josh Freeman era quickly. Cassel struggled at times, making poorly advised throws, two of which were intercepted by safety Mike Mitchell. Moreover, the passing offense lacked big plays as Cassel threw for 241 yards on 44 attempts. He was also sacked three times.
Minnesota's biggest issues came on defense, a unit that wasn't just porous, but undisciplined. Numerous Carolina drives were extended by costly penalties. The stop-and-start Panthers offense found its gear, converting these drives and making the Vikings pay.
Desmond Bishop left the game in the second quarter before the team announced he would miss the rest of the game. There is no further update at this time.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith also left the game in the third quarter with a foot injury. He left the field and did not return.
Melvin White took a shot as the Panthers' defensive back attempted to tackle Adrian Peterson in the third quarter. He left the field under his own power, and there was no further update.
Fantasy studs and duds
Cam Newton had a huge day with three passing touchdowns and one on the ground. Big plays allowed him to have his best game of the season.
Adrian Peterson finished with a disappointing 61 yards. The offense only handed him the ball 10 times as the Vikings were forced to play from behind.
Kyle Rudolph is a tight end to watch moving forward. He caught nine passes for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Did they cover?
The Minnesota Vikings were 2.5-point favorites, according to OddsShark. They lost outright.
Oct. 20: Carolina vs. St. Louis
Oct. 21: Minnesota vs. New York Giants