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Superior special teams leads Vikings to victory

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The Minnesota Vikings snapped a two-game losing streak by beating the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon 31-13 at TCF Bank Stadium. It was Carolina's sixth straight loss.

The Vikings special teams players set the tone as they blocked a pair of punts for touchdowns.

Leading 7-0 in the first quarter, Minnesota native Adam Thielen blocked a Brad Nortman punt, which he recovered and returned for a touchdown. It was the first the Vikings blocked a punt for a touchdown since 1986.

Then moments later it happened again. Everson Griffen scooped up the loose ball and raced 43 yards into the end zone after Jasper Brinkley blocked the punt.

It was the first time in team history the Vikings had blocked a pair of punts for touchdowns in the same game. According to ESPN, the last time any team had two blocked punt touchdowns in a game was when Kansas City did it against Cleveland on Sept. 30, 1990.

Griffen also recorded a pair of sacks in the game.

Bridgewater answers cold-weather critics

Teddy Bridgewater answered some of the cold weather critics with his play on Sunday afternoon. Bridgewater finished 15-of-21 for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He hit Jarius Wright for a 35-yard completion in the third quarter.

His top target was Greg Jennings, who finished with five catches for 45 yards and a touchdown.

With Jerick McKinnon out because of injury, Matt Asiata took the majority of the carries on Sunday. Asiata rushed for 52 yards on 14 carries.

Scoring Summary

1st quarter – Teddy Bridgewater to Kyle Rudolph 4-yard touchdown pass (PAT), 7-0 MIN

1st quarter – Adam Thielen 30-yard return of blocked punt (PAT), 14-0 MIN

1st quarter – Graham Gano 30-yard field goal, 14-3 MIN

2nd quarter – Everson Griffen 43-yard return of blocked punt (PAT), 21-3 MIN

2nd quarter – Gano 35-yard field goal, 21-6 MIN

2nd quarter – Bridgewater to Greg Jennings 17-yard touchdown pass (PAT), 28-6 MIN

3rd quarter – Cam Newton to Philly Brown 32-yard touchdown pass (PAT), 28-13 MIN

4th quarter – Blair Walsh 39-yard field goal 31-13 MIN

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