The Call: Vikings vs. Carolina

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 29, 2011 - 11:21 PM
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Chris Weinke with Cam Newton

Prediction: Carolina 31, Vikings 23 The Vikings never have played a game that featured two rookie starting quarterbacks. An interested observer will be Chris Weinke, a St. Paul native. Like Christian Ponder, Weinke played at Florida State. Like Newton, he started his NFL career in Charlotte. This summer, he mentored both QBs during the lockout at the IMG Madden Football Academy in Florida. Today: Newton wins.

That's some turnaround Last season, Carolina's Steve Smith was a disgruntled veteran whose talents were being wasted by a team that went 2-14 and averaged 12 points. Smith's 2010 numbers: 46 catches, 554 yards, two touchdowns. This season, Smith is a once again an exuberant Pro Bowl candidate for an on-the-rise Panthers squad now averaging 24 points. Smith's 2011 stats: 39 grabs, 818 yards, three TDs. Smith said the mood this season in Carolina is "drastically different" and added, "It's so different it's making a 32-year-old guy seem like he can still play."

Ground control will be lacking Adrian Peterson fantasy owners rejoice. He could trample a Carolina defense that's missing its top two players. Linebackers Jon Beason (Achilles' tendon) and Thomas Davis (torn ACL) each suffered season-ending injuries in September. Said coach Ron Rivera: "The biggest impact is [missing] veteran leadership. You're talking about two of our more veteran players, two of our more dynamic football players who make plays. And any time that happens, losing two guys who were on the field for you every snap, now we've gone to linebacker by committee."

Escape routes might exist Thanks mostly to Jared Allen, the Vikings lead the NFL with 21 sacks. They even got to the very nimble Aaron Rodgers four times in last week's home loss. But Sunday, they face a different challenge against Cam Newton. Both Allen and fellow defensive end Brian Robison may have to dial back their aggressiveness a notch to guard against Newton's running ability. "You don't want to leave lanes," coach Leslie Frazier said. "Because even if you have everything covered, he takes off. And now that's an explosive play. It changes your approach."

MANO-A-MANO: A MATCHUP TO WATCH

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder vs. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton

About Ponder Forget his .449 completion percentage the past two games. Ponder won a lot of folks over last week with his confidence and composure.

About Newton Has 15 TDs this season (eight passing, seven rushing).

Who has the edge? After seven games, Newton has already produced three of the four highest passing outputs in team history. In Steve Smith, he has the kind of big-time receiving weapon that Ponder doesn't. Plus, he'll have the home crowd.

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NY Mets 2 Top 9th Inning
Washington 4
Baltimore 5 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Kansas City 7 Bottom 8th Inning
Cleveland 0
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 2 FINAL
Toronto - WP: R. Dickey 10
Chicago WSox 0 Bottom 8th Inning
Detroit 3
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 2
Pittsburgh 3 Top 9th Inning
Atlanta 2
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 1 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 3
Tampa Bay 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Boston 1
Houston 0 Top 6th Inning
Texas 2
St. Louis 3 Top 6th Inning
Chicago Cubs 3
Arizona 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Minnesota 4
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Colorado - J. De La Rosa 9:10 PM
San Diego - R. Erlin
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
New England 9/29/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Carolina 0 FINAL
Buffalo 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Columbus 2
Boston 2 3rd Prd 7:31
Montreal 2
Nashville 2 3rd Prd 11:25
Tampa Bay 2
Philadelphia 0 3rd Prd 5:33
Toronto 4
Detroit 1 2nd Prd 8:33
Chicago 0
San Jose 0 2nd Prd
Vancouver 1
Arizona 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Vancouver 9:30 PM
San Jose
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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