2014 DRAFT GUIDE
5 things to note after Panthers defeat Vikings

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI - AP Sports Writer
    2013-10-14 02:47

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - As the final seconds ticked down, Cam Newton walked across the field to find Adrian Peterson and offered a warm embrace.

It was a moment of comfort for Peterson, who was playing two days after his 2-year-old son was killed in an alleged case of child abuse in South Dakota.

Newton also comforted some anxious Carolina Panthers fans on Sunday with a performance more fitting of the franchise quarterback everyone wants him to be.

Newton threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for another to help the Panthers roll over the Minnesota Vikings 35-10 on Sunday.

The efficiency, consistency and big plays from the pocket were much needed for Newton, who was coming off a woeful performance against Arizona in which he threw three interceptions.

Newton said he wants to ``be very thorough with my craft for a full four quarters of football and not just one half.'' If he can accomplish that, the Panthers (2-3) suddenly become much harder to deal with.

Peterson rushed for just 62 yards on 10 carries, his lowest output since Week 2 of last season. He rushed to a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Thursday when he learned that his son was badly injured. The mother's boyfriend is charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault, and the boy died on Friday not long before Peterson vowed to play in the game.

``I just prayed and asked God to give me the strength just to get through the game, just play and focus,'' Peterson said. ``And for the most part, I did. It was a terrible way to lose, but we can learn from this, make some corrections and get back on track.''

Here are five things to take away from the Panthers' win over the Vikings (1-4):

PETERSON DIDN'T THINK TWICE: When Peterson spoke to reporters on Friday, he was resolute in his stance that he was going to play the game despite the death of his son. The football field has always been his shelter during difficult times, and Peterson said he never wavered about his decision to play. ``I just look at things and I don't ask people to understand my mindset and how I think,'' he said. ``Anything bad, I try to take good from it. That's the way I approach life in all situations. I never thought about not playing. It was all about just going out there and praying that I have the strength to get through and help my team. That was my focus.''

RIVERA THE GAMBLER: Panthers coach Ron Rivera's roots are on the defensive side of the ball, and he freely admits that he is generally more of a conservative coach. But sitting at 1-3 and needing to give his offense a jolt, Rivera decided to go for it on fourth down twice on Carolina's opening drive of the game. It paid off when the 15-play drive culminated in a 2-yard touchdown from Newton to Steve Smith, and a boatload of confidence for the offense in general. ``For him to trust us means a lot and it speaks volumes,'' Newton said. ``For us, he is a defensive coach by nature, so he always has that conservative mentality. But I think that he is kind of breaking his mold to a degree, and giving the whole team confidence with him.''

STINGY PANTHERS: Carolina's front seven is fast becoming one of the toughest in the league. The Panthers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in nine straight games. Thomas Davis had two sacks and Mike Mitchell had two interceptions and a sack of his own to lead the way. And stuffing Peterson may have been their biggest accomplishment yet. ``You know we gave up one big run and if we don't give that up we might have had him under 50,'' Mitchell said of Peterson's 31-yard run. ``He's the best running back in the league so he's going to get his but I thought we did a good job keeping him bottled up for most of the day.''

LAFELL'S BIG PLAY: The Panthers were leading 14-3 in the third quarter when Brandon LaFell got behind Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson and hauled in a pass for a 79-yard touchdown. It was the start of 21 straight points for the Panthers that turned a sloppy game into a rout. LaFell had four catches for 107 yards.

VIKINGS' POROUS SECONDARY: The Vikings entered the game tied for 29th in the league in pass defense. The beleaguered secondary took a couple of hits that could prove costly on Sunday. Safety Harrison Smith, arguably the best defensive player on the team, went down with turf toe on his left foot in the third quarter. Rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes also sprained his right ankle. Both will get MRI exams on Monday to determine the extent of the damage.

---

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

D.J. WilliamsAug 22 05:12p

Free-agent DT Anthony McCloud (Cardinals), WR Jabin Sambrano (Falcons), DT Marcus Forston (Patriots), TE D.J. Williams (Patriots) and DE James Ruffin (Buccaneers) all cleared waivers Friday, Aug. 22.

Damien WilliamsAug 22 04:58p

Miami Dolphins RB Damien Williams has leapfrogged RBs Daniel Thomas and Mike Gillislee on the depth chart.

Jalil BrownAug 22 03:22p

The Miami Dolphins released CB Jalil Brown Friday, Aug. 22.

Michael EgnewAug 22 03:02p

The Miami Dolphins waived TE Michael Egnew Friday, Aug. 22.

Emmanuel SandersAug 22 11:22a

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (quadriceps) had a full practice Thursday, Aug. 21, and he could play in his first preseason game Saturday, Aug. 23.

Isaac RedmanAug 22 10:52a

Free-agent RB Isaac Redman (back) said he is no longer able to play football after suffering a spinal cord injury in 2013.

Christian PonderAug 22 10:42a

Minnesota Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater is entrenched as the No. 2 quarterback, and the team is confident with him there. QB Christian Ponder could be traded if he performs [ More ]

Brandon BostickAug 22 08:22a

Updating a previous report, Green Bay Packers TE Brandon Bostick (leg) has a slight fracture of his fibula and could return by Week 2 or Week 3.

Sean SpenceAug 22 01:02a

Pittsburgh Steelers LB Sean Spence (knee) and Jason Worilds (knee) are not expected to have suffered serious knee injuries during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21, according to sources.

Doug MartinAug 22 12:52a

Tampa Bay Buccaners RB Doug Martin was called the team's 'bell cow' running back by head coach Lovie Smith.

Heath MillerAug 22 12:42a

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Heath Miller had a team-high five catches for 53 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown reception, in the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

Nick FolesAug 22 12:12a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles completed 19 of 29 passes for 179 yards with one touchdown and one interception during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21. He led [ More ]

LeSean McCoyAug 21 11:42p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (thumb) said he expects to be ready for the regular season after spraining his right thumb during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

Sammy WatkinsAug 21 10:22p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins (ribs) did not participate in team drills during practice Thursday, Aug. 21, and he has not been cleared to play in the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 23.

Max StarksAug 21 09:32p

Arizona Cardinals OT Max Starks (ankle), LB Kevin Minter (pectoral) and OG Jonathan Cooper (toe) did not practice Thursday, Aug. 21.

Brandin CooksAug 21 09:12p

New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (illness) returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday, Aug. 21, and he is questionable for the team's preseason game Saturday, Aug. 23, [ More ]

Victor ButlerAug 21 09:12p

New Orleans Saints CB Rod Sweeting (undisclosed) and LB Victor Butler (undisclosed) did conditioning work on the side with trainers during practice Thursday, Aug. 21.

LeSean McCoyAug 21 09:02p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy's (thumb) X-rays on his right thumb came back negative, but he will not return to the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

Jeremy MaclinAug 21 08:52p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Jeremy Maclin (knee) walked off the field under his own power after falling and clutching his right knee during the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21.

LeSean McCoyAug 21 08:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy (thumb) left the team's preseason game Thursday, Aug. 21, and went to the locker room for X-rays on his right thumb.

Le'Veon BellAug 21 07:52p

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell started against the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night as he waits for a possible suspension after being charged for driving under the influence and marijuana possession.

Kenny BrittAug 21 07:32p

St. Louis Rams WR Kenny Britt (shoulder) may sit out of the team's preseason game against the Cleveland Browns Saturday, Aug. 23, with a shoulder injury. Britt did practice this week, however.

William HayesAug 21 07:32p

St. Louis Rams WR Jordan Harris (undisclosed), LB Pat Schiller (undisclosed), DE Sammy Brown (calf), DT Matt Conrath (undisclosed), DE William Hayes (undisclosed) OG Barrett Jones (back) and C [ More ]

J. VanderveldeAug 21 06:22p

Philadelphia Eagles WR Josh Huff (shoulder), RB Chris Polk (hamstring), WR Brad Smith (undisclosed), CB Brandon Boykin (leg), LB Jake Knott (hamstring) and C Julian Vandervelde (back) are not [ More ]

Reggie WayneAug 21 05:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR Reggie Wayne (knee) is a game-time decision against the New Orleans Saints Saturday, Aug. 23, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Darnell DockettAug 21 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 21.

Fendi OnobunAug 21 05:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars TE Fendi Onobun (knee) has cleared waivers and was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 2.

Mike CaussinAug 21 05:12p

Washington Redskins TE Mike Caussin (undisclosed) was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 21.

Isaiah PeadAug 21 05:12p

St. Louis Rams RB Isaiah Pead (knee) has cleared waivers and was placed on Reserve/Injured Thursday, Aug. 2.

Joe MaysAug 21 04:42p

Kansas City Chiefs LB Joe Mays (wrist) will have surgery on his wrist, according to a source. Mays was hurt in last week's preseason game against the Carolina Panthers. [ More ]

Eric WeemsAug 21 04:02p

The Atlanta Falcons signed free-agent WR Eric Weems (Bears) Thursday, Aug. 21. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Manti Te'oAug 21 03:42p

San Diego Chargers OG Jeromey Clary (shoulder, hip), WR Vincent Brown (calf), LB Manti Te'o (foot), DT Sean Lissemore (ankle), SS Jahleel Addae (hamstring), DE Lawrence Guy (shoulder) and [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group