Panthers at Vikings: Prediction, best bets and what to expect

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Mike Davis
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater and Mike Davis /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Teddy Bridgewater /

Carolina Panthers at Vikings: What to expect

It is vital for the Carolina Panthers to get themselves off to a good start. They have been at their best this season when things go well early on and more of the same here is exactly what’s required.

Teddy Bridgewater will be aiming for a big performance after missing just one game with an MCL sprain. Expect offensive coordinator Joe Brady to try and get his quarterback in a rhythm early coming up against a head coach in Mike Zimmer who knows him better than most.

Although rookie cornerback Jeff Gladney is coming on in encouraging fashion, the rest of Minnesota’s unit is less stellar. Mike Hughes and Holton Hill are out with long-term injuries and Cameron Dantzler is starting to feel the pinch after a tremendous start to his time at the next level.

This is an area which the Panthers can expose. Robby Anderson, Curtis Samuel, and the red-hot D.J. Moore can all make their presence felt, which might be the best way for Carolina to get themselves out in front early on.

Much will depend on how the Panthers cope with

Dalvin Cook

, who is already over 1,000-yards rushing this season despite missing one game through injury. There isn’t a more feared running back in the NFL right now and if Carolina’s suspect run defense reverts to type after substantial improvements last time out, it could be a long afternoon.