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Panthers' Jonathan Stewart dominates the Vikings, scores 3 times on Sunday

11 December 2017

Case Keenum threw two touchdowns for 280 yards in a losing cause for the visitors, including a 52-yard pass for wide receiver Adam Thielen, as the 10-3 Vikings suffered defeat for the first time in nine matches.

The final stats show the Vikings surrendered a season-high 216 yards on the ground.

The quarterback kept a zone-read on second-and-five before rumbling 62 yards to the Minnesota 8.

After losing all of a 24-13 fourth-quarter lead to see Minnesota tie the game at 24, the Panthers marched down the field to get Jonathan Stewart's third touchdown of the game.

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And while much will be made about the way the Panthers nearly blew it, that they found a way to win in the end may have been their biggest statement.

If the Panthers can run the ball with Jonathan Stewart as the primary back, then they've got a chance to win multiple playoff games this season. Carolina's defense forced Minnesota and Keenum into bad decisions.

With right tackle Mike Remmers and center Pat Elfein inactive, the pressure was already on a depleted line to step up against one of the NFL's best front seven groups. Eventually, Julius Peppers began to beat Rashod Hill on the right side and the defense began getting to Keenum (they sacked him six times).

As if the line hadn't struggled enough, starting left tackle Riley Reiff went down late in the game with an apparent ankle injury.

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Basically, the veteran talent wants the Vikings to know that, now that he is with the Panthers, Matt Kalil is a different guy than the one they might have known. "We got out of a few and made some good plays, but they got to the quarterback a few times". The Eagles now hold a half-game lead in the conference heading into their showdown with the 9-3 Los Angeles Rams later Sunday. All he has done as an encore is break the 1,000-yard mark in 12 games and continue to produce as the team's top wideout.

Detroit Lions nearly squandered a 14-point final-quarter lead as they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-21 thanks to Matt Prater's 46-yard field-goal 20 seconds from time. But on Minnesota's third to last offensive drive of the game, the Adam Thielen that the team had become used to in 2017 stepped up to the plate once again. But four of his plays helped swing this NFC tilt in the home team's direction.

Newton ran for a career-low 359 yards last season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers were in jeopardy of blowing a big lead and big opportunity on Sunday when Cam Newton pulled the ball from the gut of his running back with just over two minutes remaining.

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Newton completed 13-of-25 for 137 yards, one touchdown and one pick-not spectacular, and no one expected it to be against the second-best defense in the league.

Panthers' Jonathan Stewart dominates the Vikings, scores 3 times on Sunday