Carolina Panthers tipped to fall short vs. Vikings in FanSided's predictions

This would not be well received by the Carolina Panthers fanbase...

D.J. Chark and Adam Thielen
D.J. Chark and Adam Thielen / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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The Carolina Panthers are tipped to fall agonizingly short in Week 4 against the Minnesota Vikings according to FanSided's predictions.

The stakes couldn't be much higher for the Carolina Panthers entering Week 4. There's not a lot to encourage fans that this is a team heading in the right direction, which is bringing into question the delusions of grandeur outlined by general manager Scott Fitterer before the regular season began.

There's still time to turn things around. However, two difficult-looking games at the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins are upcoming before Carolina's bye week, which makes their game versus the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday a must-win in no uncertain terms.

The Vikings are 0-3 themselves after an indifferent start to the campaign. Close losses to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Philadelphia Eagles, and Los Angeles Chargers have put Kevin O'Connell's men in a hole, but they have numerous threats the Panthers must take seriously in pursuit of getting out of their own slump.

Minnesota's high-octane offense can be lethal. Veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins leads the league in passing yards and wide receiver Justin Jefferson is averaging a mammoth 152.7 receiving yards per game through three weeks - a remarkable accomplishment.

Carolina Panthers tipped to lose in Week 4 vs. Vikings

Couple this with the potential inclusion of running back Cam Akers following his trade from the Los Angeles Rams, one of the best pass-catching tight ends around in TJ. Hockenson, and the explosiveness of first-round pick Jordan Addison, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where the complications could arise.

This is something that was brought up by Cody Williams of FanSided during his weekly NFL predictions. The writer hinted at Minnesota's ability to put points on the board quickly and the Panthers' suspect offensive line as reasons behind going with the visitors by a score of 28-24.

"There's not much to like about the Vikings as a whole right now, specifically on defense. That being said, Minnesota has been able to rush the passer and the Panthers are currently on a record-setting (and not in the good way) pace for pressures allowed. Minnesota being able to pressure should give a still potent offense enough chances to finally get into the win column."

Cody Williams, FanSided

According to the latest odds from FanDuel Sportsbook, the Vikings are 4.0-point favorites to get one over on the Panthers in Week 4. Considering the 3.0-point swing home teams normally get, this equates to sportsbooks fancying Minnesota by a touchdown.

It's now or never for the Panthers. If they lose against the Vikings and get turned over as expected in their next two outings after this one, Frank Reich's men will be sitting at 0-6 heading into their bye week, which could lead to some trades and increased pressure on certain individuals within the front office.

Carolina's passing game could have enough to find some holes in Minnesota's secondary. The performance of returning signal-caller Bryce Young will be crucial, but there is also a real need to firmly establish the run early and find a balance that was sorely missing at the Seattle Seahawks.

One couldn't dismiss the possibility of this game turning into a shootout. That's certainly how the Vikings would like it, but whether the Panthers have enough firepower to go toe-to-toe with Sunday's opponents in this regard is another matter.

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