If what the Carolina Panthers needed to recover from a Week 1 loss to the team that also beat them in the Super Bowl was a game opponent who would eventually succumb to a thrashing, the San Francisco 49ers were the perfect answer. Last week, San Francisco pushed Carolina to the limit in the first half, and the Panthers eventually broke through and ended the day in a blowout.
Now at 1-1, the Panthers will play host to the Minnesota Vikings, a team starting its season off in a way it didn't expect either. While the Panthers expected to beat the Broncos in Week 1, the Vikings thought they'd have their young franchise quarterback under center all season.
Instead, recently acquired quarterback Sam Bradford is now the starter, and he's looking for his second win with the Vikings when they travel to face the Panthers. The game is set for 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on television via FOX. An online stream of the game will be available via FOX Sports GO, though that depends on which game is being served to your local television market.
Bradford, 28, came to Minnesota after a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles, who received a first-round pick for his services. The trade raised eyebrows when it happened because Bradford has never lived up to the hype of being a No. 1 overall pick. The Vikings managed to win in Week 1 with Shaun Hill at quarterback, but barely. In Week 2, Bradford started off his Vikings career in style, outplaying Aaron Rodgers and helping his new team beat the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers.
However, the Vikings were dealt another blow in the game when running back Adrian Peterson went down with a knee injury. Peterson had to get surgery on a torn meniscus in his right knee and his return this season is still up in the air.
Jerick McKinnon will get the start at running back, and the Vikings also have Ronnie Hillman, who was signed following Peterson's injury. McKinnon was a third-round pick by the Vikings in 2014, and posted 538 yards on the ground in 11 games as a rookie. Last season he had just 52 carries for 271 yards and a pair of touchdowns in 16 games. He'll be the lead back on Sunday, though, and will be tested by Carolina's stout defense.
The Panthers will also be making a change at the running back position. Starter Jonathan Stewart is dealing with a hamstring issue that will sideline him for multiple games. Cameron Artis-Payne, despite no touches this season, will be the lead back with Fozzy Whittaker and Mike Tolbert also getting a healthy amount of touches.
Minnesota has to feel like this whole thing is fit to come apart at the seams. They have a lead over the Packers in the NFC North and that's huge, but it only gets tougher from here. The Panthers are going to be a true test of the franchise's hopes this year.
Below is all the information you need to watch Sunday's game.
How to Watch Vikings vs. Panthers on Sunday
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.
Announcers: Chris Myers, Ronde Barber, Jennifer Hale