The game began as a defensive one, as Carolina held the elusive Adrian Peterson to 86 yards and looked as if they had turned over a new leaf. The offense looked solid as Cam’s first two touchdowns were thrown to both tight ends. Cam continued his dominate passing game throwing for 290 yards and a season high 3 TD’s. Check back after the break for more on today’s game.
With about 2:40 left in the final quarter, Cam Newton led the Panthers down the field with the possibility of tying the game. On a 4th and 15 play, Newton hit a wide open Brandon LaFell for a 44-yard pass that put the Panthers in Mare’s prime field goal position. Newton then went for a pass that Olsen dropped in the end-zone, a pass that would have put the Panthers in the lead.
Enter, Olindo Mare. Kicking a 31 yard field goal should be easy work for an NFL kicker, right? No, Mare enters the game and kicks the ball way left, missing it completely. That kick sends the Panthers to a loss at the hands of the decent-at-best Vikings, and they drop to 2-6 on the year.
Besides Mare’s mishap, the Panthers looked solid all game. Minus the 2 fumbles cause by Jared Allen, Newton looked like his amazing self, again putting up fantastic numbers. In the first quarter, Newton hit Shockey to answer a 12 yard TD run by Percy Harvin. Then Newton hit Olsen for 39 yard TD pass. Those two plays put Carolina up 14-7 until the closing minutes of the second half when Minnesota tied the game 14-14.
The second half began with a touchdown drive by the Panthers, as Newton hit Steve Smith for the go ahead score. The Vikings answered with 1:58 to go in the 3rd by scoring another TD to tie the game at 21.
The 4th quarter was quite lackluster as the Panthers and Vikings failed to get a drive going. That was until the Vikings marched down the field, and Ryan Longwell converted a 31 yard field goal. With 2:43 left in the 4th, the Panthers got the ball back. Newton successfully marched down the field, putting the Panthers in scoring range. But, as I said before, Mare failed to convert the 31 yarder.
So now I’m wondering, was releasing John Kasay a good idea? Okay so the guy can’t kick-off, but he sure as heck can convert a 31 yard field goal. In my opinion this entire loss is on Mare, and the guys who decided to cut Kasay from the team.
Mare should have fun trying to leave the stadium today, as all of Panther Nation wants his head on a platter.