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

Deone BucannonJul 24 11:32a

Arizona Cardinals S Deone Bucannon was not dropped into the starting lineup during offseason workouts, as the team has faith in FS Tony Jefferson and FS Rashad Johnson. He [ More ]

Ray RiceJul 24 11:31a

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice will be suspended for the first two games of the season, according to sources. The announcement is expected Thursday, July 24.

Blake BortlesJul 24 11:22a

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' lower-body mechanics likely will be revised. Bortles' flaw has been over-reliance on his right arm when throwing; he doesn't use his legs enough. A [ More ]

Mikel LeshoureJul 24 11:14a

Detroit Lions RB Mikel Leshoure is currently believed to be the fourth tailback on the club behind RBs Reggie Bush, Joique Bell and Theo Riddick heading into training camp [ More ]

Justin BlackmonJul 24 10:53a

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon was arrested for possession of marijuana Wednesday, July 23, in Oklahoma.

Jordan PalmerJul 24 10:52a

Chicago Bears QB Jordan Palmer still has the first shot at winning the backup quarterback job, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

R. Griffin IIIJul 24 10:22a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III's designed running plays might be 'few and far between,' according to head coach Jay Gruden. He still has the green light to scramble [ More ]

Daniel FellsJul 24 09:42a

New York Giants TE Daniel Fells has received the first snap in 11-on-11 drills during the team's two days in training camp. Kellen Davis and Adrien Robinson have [ More ]

Ahmad BradshawJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts RB Ahmad Bradshaw (neck) has been cleared to practice. Bradshaw is an RB4, but he could be worth more if Trent Richardson fails to produce again.

Roddy WhiteJul 24 08:33a

Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White signed a four-year extension with the team that will keep him under team control for the next five years, according to sources.

Donald ThomasJul 24 08:33a

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (hip) and OG Donald Thomas (quadriceps, biceps) have been cleared to practice.

Josh GordonJul 24 08:23a

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon will have his appeal hearing for his one-year suspension Aug. 1.

Greg OlsenJul 24 01:43a

Carolina Panthers TE Greg Olsen said he is tired of hearing criticism about Carolina's new receiving corps, which is largely made up of journeymen and unproven commodities. Olsen added [ More ]

Aldon SmithJul 24 01:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB Aldon Smith is expected to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in the near future, which likely would lead to a decision on any discipline for Smith.

Anthony BarrJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr was with the team for just a few days during offseason workouts due to NFL rules. Head coach Mike Zimmer is eager to see [ More ]

Sharrif FloydJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd had a good offseason, but head coach Mike Zimmer thinks the defensive tackle is trying to be too fine. 'Sharrif has a lot of [ More ]

C. PattersonJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson will remain on kickoff returns despite an expanded role in the offense this season. 'We want our best players to get their hands on [ More ]

Montell OwensJul 23 11:23p

Detroit Lions FB Montell Owens has company, as the team will employ a more traditional fullback in the offense. They signed FB Jed Collins for the role. Owens is [ More ]

Harrison SmithJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings safeties Jamarca Sanford and Andrew Sendejo will be battling during training camp and the preseason for the starting job opposite FS Harrison Smith. 'That will be interesting, [ More ]

Matt CasselJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings QBs Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Cassel saw a majority of the snaps during spring workouts, but QB Christian Ponder has a chance to start, and head coach [ More ]

Chad GreenwayJul 23 11:23p

Minnesota Vikings LB Chad Greenway could be used as the starting middle linebacker, according to head coach Mike Zimmer. 'It's a possibility. We keep working him in there. We're [ More ]

Troy NiklasJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (hand) has been cleared to participate in training camp, and was working Wednesday, July 23.

Dan WilliamsJul 23 10:23p

Arizona Cardinals NT Dan Williams will open training camp as the team's starting nose tackle with NT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) on the Physically-Unable-to-Perform (PUP) list.

Johnny ManzielJul 23 10:23p

Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine thinks QB Johnny Manziel needs to increase dedication to earn the starting job. 'I think he knows that in order to compete well, [ More ]

Theo RiddickJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick has the chance to break into the rotation at tailback, and he has drawn considerable praise from his teammates and coaches for his development [ More ]

Joique BellJul 23 10:23p

Detroit Lions RB Joique Bell (nee) missed most of the offseason due to a knee injury, although he has said his condition is minor and he expects to be [ More ]

Jed CollinsJul 23 10:23p

The Detroit Lions are re-incorporating the traditional fullback into their new offensive scheme this season, and that's why they went out and signed FB Jed Collins.

Cheta OzougwuJul 23 07:23p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) cleared waivers and was transferred to the Saints' Reserve/Injured list Wednesday, July 23.

Billy WinnJul 23 06:53p

The Cleveland Browns placed OL Chris Faulk (undisclosed), DE Billy Winn (undisclosed) and LB Tank Carder (undisclosed) on the non-football injury list Wednesday, July 23.

Kyle OrtonJul 23 06:33p

Free-agent QB Kyle Orton (Cowboys) does not want to retire and wants to play in 2014, according to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Conner VernonJul 23 06:23p

The Cleveland Browns placed CB Royce Adams, LB Brandon Magee and WR Conner Vernon on the no-recall waivers list Wednesday, July 23.

Terrance WestJul 23 06:23p

Updating a previous report, Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West (undisclosed) said on his Twitter page that he passed his conditioning test and people need to 'stop making up your [ 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