View from parts unknown:
Time for another BMTN blog-o-Vikings, as we follow the 1-6 NFC North cellar-dwellars into the basement of the NFC South's 2-5 Carolina Panthers. Today, it's billed as a battle between rookie quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Cam Newton, but the Vikings Age blog points out the real matchup is between Adrian Peterson and the Panthers’ run defense, and Steve Smith versus the Vikings’ secondary.
Vikings fans just want a victory. It would be the first one on the road this year, and the second of the season. In fact, let's just say they'd Kill for a victory right about now. Let's see, what other major football team in the state has at least two measly victories on the year? And what would that crazy "we-just-beat-Iowa" scene look like?
That's a sea of maroon and gold, a Hawkeye fan's worst nightmare two days before Halloween. The Vikings hope to get just as piggy with a win over the Panthers today. The last time the Vikings and Gophers won on the same weekend? Nov. 27-28, 2010. Vikes beat the Redskins on Sunday, after the Gophers beat ... No. 24 Iowa on Saturday. Just sayin'.
11:34 a.m: FOX Sports canonizing Denver QB Tim Tebow, and how a form of prayer called "Tebow-ing" is making headlines across the nation. Vikings fans wondering what "Ponder-ing" would look like or perhaps even "McNabb-ing." Want to know what "Favre-ing" looks like? We can send you a text.
12:02: Kickoff... Vikes get it first. Marcus Sherels runs it back 78 yards to the Panthers' 27.
12:06: Longwell misses 45-yarder, wide left. Sherels' big return wasted.
12:08: E.J. Henderson strips ball from Cam Newton. Jared Allen recovers fumble. Vikings' ball on Carolina 15.
12:10: VIKINGS 7, PANTHERS 0 -- Harvin into the end zone (video) with a 10-yard rushing touchdown. Big turnover turns into points.
12:13: Everson Griffin forces another fumble on kick return. Panthers recover.
12:23: In Twitterverse, once again, Strib's Jim Souhan says it all: "Man, Jared Allen is having a great season. Already a fumble recovery and blocked pass today, leads NFL in sacks..."
12:27: In case you haven't heard, Donovan McNabb still thinks he should start.
12:28: That, of course, reminds us of our favorite Doors song:
12:35: Refs mistake Steve Smith's shoulder pad for a facemask. Panthers get gift 15 extra yards.
12:36: Best stat from first quarter: Percy Harvin 13 rushing yards, Adrian Peterson -6 yards on ground.
12:44: VIKINGS 7, PANTHERS 7 -- Jeremy Shockey catches 1-yard TD pass from Cam Newton to tie it up. TD set up by 27-yard Newton to Smith connection.
12:52: In most bizarre visual of 2011 season, Percy Harvin draws personal foul after mixing it up with Panthers' Captain Munnerlyn, who was sitting on bench! WWE Raw is tomorrow night, Percy. Check it out:
12:55: Paul Allen on Percy's squabble: "I'd watch that on pay-per-view"
12:56: Who looks better in teal: Dolphins or Panthers? Neither.
12:59: From Twitterverse, fabulous observation from Strib's Sorenson: "Big-time scuffle, Percy Harvin and Captain Munnerlyn, on Panther bench. First fight in NFL history between guys named Captain and Percy."
1:00: PANTHERS 14, VIKINGS 7: Cam Newton hits Greg Olsen for TD on 39-yard pass.Newton kid outplaying Ponder kid.
1:04: Adrian Peterson, who spent first quarter in parking lot, has zero yards on six carries so far.
1:06: From Twitterverse, VikesPrincess is losing her mind: "For ODIN's SAKE Vikings! We have the BEST RB in the league and you can't open up a hole in the 29th worst D against the run?????"
1:07: From Twitterverse, Souhan adds context on AP dilemma: "OK, enough of Musgrave praise. He's got Peterson facing an 8-man front, then he motions a receiver in so it's 9 men, then you run into it?"
1:12: Harvin fumbles on 5-yard-line, taken away by the guy who goaded him into that act of sideline violence, Cap Munnerlyn.
1:26: Jared Allen. Stud. Gets sack and forces fumble. Greenway recovers. That's 10 straight games with at least a half-sack for JA. Vikings ball late in second half.
1:28: VIKINGS 14, PANTHERS 14 -- Adrian Peterson scores on 19-yard TD pass from Ponder.
1:30: Wondering if it's OK to interchange AP with AD when describing Peterson, who has 61 receiving yards and 14 rushing yards as half ends.
1:32: Best halftime stats: Ponder 8 for 12, 135 yards, 1 TD. Newton 11 for 17, 152 yards, 2 TDs. Also: Both purple touchdowns followed Panther turnovers.
1:56: PANTHERS 21, VIKINGS 14-- Cam Newton tosses TD pass to Steve Smith, this one for 22 yards. Newton three passing TDs so far.
1:58: From Twitterverse: Aaron Gleeman (Twins blogger) on Asher Allen's matchup with Smith: "Allen is going as burnt toast for Halloween."
2:01: After Ponder goes three-and-out after that last Carolina TD, everyone in Minnesota is reminded that Wild, hockey Gophers (twice) and football Gophers all won this weekend.
2:02: McNabb still convinced he can start. Reminds us of this song:
2:14: Ponder kid looking sharp on third down, Vikings driving -- hoping to tie it at 21.
2:17: VIKINGS 21, PANTHERS 21 -- Adrian Peterson 9-yard-run for TD to cap 90-yard drive and tie it at 21.
2:34: Now everyone wondering to where Harvin has disappeared. Ribs?
2:38: Maybe we'll see him in next series. Panthers punt with 10:30 to go.
2:42: Harvin moves the chains on big 3rd-down play. Ball on 25. After play, doubled-over in pain on sideline. Tough guy.
2:47: Adrian Peterson now has 156 total yards, heating up nicely after missing in action in first quarter.
2:51: VIKINGS 24, PANTHERS 21 -- Longwell hits 31-yard field goal with 2:43 left.
2:59: Newton makes crucial fourth-down 44-yard pass to keep drive alive. Panthers looking to take lead.
3:03: O. Mare 31-yard FG attempt wide left. Panthers lose.
3:04: FINAL -- VIKINGS 24, PANTHERS 21
3:33: Bye. Literally. No game next week. Then Ponder and co. off to Green Bay for his Monday Night debut at Lambeau.
3:40: Last word from Twitterverse, courtesy AP writer Jon Krawczynski: "Since 10/23, the day Ponder started against GB: Vikings/Gophers: 2-1, Packers/Badgers: 1-2 and the Brewers were eliminated." Love. It.