Vikings defense shuts down Panthers

The Minnesota Vikings used a solid defensive effort to earn their first win of the season, beating the Panthers 20-10.

Minnesota VikingsIt was over when …
Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme was sacked on fourth-and-27 with no timeouts left and the Panthers down by 10 late in the fourth quarter.

Game ball
Just before halftime, Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield blitzed untouched around the left side, sacked Delhomme, forced a fumble, picked up the ball and ran it back 19 yards for a touchdown that tied the score and turned the momentum of the game.

Key stat
Referees threw 21 flags through the course of the game, but Carolina’s gaffes were more costly. The noise in the Metrodome may have contributed to the Panthers’ delay-of-game penalty and six false starts. On defense, an illegal contact penalty in the fourth quarter extended a Vikings drive and kept Carolina’s offense on the sidelines.

A timeout called by John Fox in the fourth quarter negated a blocked field goal by the Panthers. … In his first game back from a two-game suspension, Carolina receiver Steve Smith caught the first pass of the game but had just three more receptions the rest of the way to finish with four catches and 70 yards. … Gus Frerotte is 38-44-1 in his career as a starter.

The Panthers just have to tip their hats to the Vikings secondary, which had been brutal coming into this game. Minnesota held Jake Delhomme to 191 yards and no touchdowns, and more importantly kept Steve Smith (4 catches, 70 yards) relativity quiet. Kind of strange that on a day where Adrian Peterson (17 carries, 77 yards) looks mortal, the Vikings get their first win of the season over a quality opponent. At least for one week, it looks like the move to Gus Frerotte (16 of 28, 204 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) at quarterback paid off for Brad Childress.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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