Panthers get no mercy from Percy

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 30, 2011 - 10:08 PM

The receiver's ribs were aching, but that did not stop him from giving his typical extra effort.

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Percy Harvin freed himself with a slick open-field move on a key third-down, 11-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Harvin also caught a 22-yard pass on the same scoring drive to finish the day with four receptions for 58 yards. He was questionable for the game.

Photo: David T. Foster Iii, MCT

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bad ribs and all, Vikings receiver Percy Harvin made a vintage spin move that left Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble clutching only his helmet in disbelief and Harvin practically on all fours in agony.

It also might have been the play of the game, turning what could have been a three-and-out punting situation from inside the Vikings 20-yard line into a game-winning fourth-quarter drive that lasted longer than 7 minutes and went 72 yards in 13 plays.

"That's just me in open space," said Harvin, referring to his 11-yard catch on third-and-7 midway through the fourth quarter of Sunday's 24-21 victory at Carolina.

Facing heavy pressure, quarterback Christian Ponder threw to Harvin in the right flat. Gamble closed in quickly.

"Two things came to mind: Either run him over or try to move him," Harvin said. "He wasn't going to move, so I figured the spin move would work. I figured he thought I was going to try to run him over, so I let him put all his weight on me and then spun off of him."

Gamble whiffed as Harvin spun and went 11 yards before being tackled. Hard. He went to the sideline, his aching ribs killing him. Again.

Harvin has been limited or missed practices in recent weeks because of the rib injury that goes back to the preseason. He was questionable for Sunday's game, yet caught four passes for 58 yards and four first downs, although one ended with him having the ball stolen from him by cornerback Captain Munnerlyn in the second quarter. Harvin also ran three times for 16 yards, including 10 on the second rushing touchdown of his career, and ignited teammates when he fought back and drew a personal foul penalty after Munnerlyn had driven him into the Panthers' bench.

"All the guys knew that he was banged up," coach Leslie Frazier said. "They've known it for a while. As a matter of fact, in our meeting last night, one of the rookies said, 'Coach, do you think Percy will be able to play [Sunday]?' I said, 'Man, Percy will find a way. He understands the National Football League, and he'll find a way.'"

Harvin bounced in and out of the game during the game-winning drive as he fought through the pain. But he said he never thought about taking this week off and using next week's bye to get ready for the Packers the following Monday night. Not even with the team at 1-6.

"I love these guys," he said. "We're a team. We're professionals. It's a pride thing."

Harvin also had a 22-yard catch on second-and-15 later in the game- winning drive. But it was that spin move that had teammates talking.

"I was on the sideline thinking, 'Oh, no, what are they doing throwing into the flat so short of the first down?'" linebacker Chad Greenway said. "But wow. That's Percy. They were letting him make a play. Obviously, he's good at making things happen."

The Vikings also used Harvin to turn Panthers quarterback Cam Newton's first of two lost fumbles into a 16-yard touchdown drive. Harvin ran up the middle for 6 yards on the first carry and came back with a 10-yard score off a nice cutback move and strong blocking by right guard Joe Berger and tight end Kyle Rudolph.

"I call him Mighty Mouse," running back Adrian Peterson said. "I told him big-time players make big-time plays in critical situations. He did that. He was hurting, but he's one tough guy."

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Pittsburgh - WP: B. Morris 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: S. LeCure 7
Atlanta 0 Postponed
Philadelphia 0
Chicago Cubs 0 Postponed
NY Yankees 0
Tampa Bay 0 Postponed
Baltimore 0
Cleveland 0 Postponed
Detroit 0
Washington - LP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - WP: T. Koehler 11
Pittsburgh - LP: G. Cole 5 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: M. Leake 7
Seattle - LP: B. Beavan 0 FINAL
Texas - WP: R. Ross Jr. 5
St. Louis - WP: S. Miller 6 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Estrada 1
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 1 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: D. Webb 2
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 4 FINAL
Houston - LP: L. Harrell 2
Toronto - WP: A. Loup 9 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: P. Hughes 3
NY Mets - WP: J. Mejia 9 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. Arroyo 0
Oakland - WP: J. Johnson 10 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: Y. Herrera 9
Colorado - WP: J. Nicasio 3 FINAL
San Diego - LP: R. Erlin 2
Los Angeles - LP: B. League 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 3
New York 109 FINAL
Brooklyn 98
Denver 105 FINAL
LA Clippers 117
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

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