3 pivotal matchups that will decide Carolina Panthers game vs. Vikings in Week 4

Terrace Marshall Jr.
Terrace Marshall Jr. / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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What matchups will Carolina Panthers fans be watching closely during their pivotal Week 4 clash against the Minnesota Vikings?

The Carolina Panthers seem to constantly be searching for new and wonderful ways to give their fanbase pain. That continued in Week 3 at the Seattle Seahawks.

Injuries had already taken their toll on what was a very promising defense to begin the year, but that problem was exasperated on Sunday. If it wasn't enough that embattled cornerback CJ Henderson went down, the team also lost Frankie Luvu and Xavier Woods - two prominent leaders on defense.

It just feels like one thing after another at this point with little for the fanbase to look forward to. Even with the small bright spots that the offense showed.

With Andy Dalton at the helm, the Panthers decided to try and stretch the field and had some success with D.J. Chark finally living up to the deep threat hype three games into the campaign. But that was really where the good ended.

The offensive line was a disaster against a subpar Seahawks pass rush and penalties ended most drives before they had the chance to get off the ground. Not to mention Eddy Pineiro losing his streak of consecutive field goals, partially due to those aforementioned infringements.

And what reward do the Panthers get for their troubles? A matchup with Justin Jefferson, who just racked up 149 receiving yards on only seven catches. More on that later.

The Minnesota Vikings may be 0-3 just like the Panthers, but do not let that fool you. There is a massive difference between them.

The team from up north has lost to three of the best teams in the league, whereas Carolina has fallen foul of less-than-stellar competition. For the Panthers to have any chance of success, they must win these three key matchups.