Carolina Panthers vs. Minnesota Vikings game recap: Everything we know

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What went up has now come down for the Carolina Panthers in the first six games of the 2021 season. A 3-0 start has, in cringeworthy fashion, been leveled out by an ugly trio of outings.

Here’s how the latest defeat, this time to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 6, went down.

Final score: Vikings 34, Panthers 28

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Keys to the game

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

  • Sam Darnold showed further signs of degression (or at least not any signs of progression). He backed out of clean pockets on numerous occasions, failed to read plays developing downfield and couldn’t find any type of chemistry with his targets—who couldn’t find any chemistry with the ball. Darnold completed 17 of his 41 throws (41.5 percent) for 207 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a lost fumble.

  • Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen found holes in the Panthers defense when his team needed them, amassing 126 yards and a score on 11 grabs. Running back Dalvin Cook did the same, piercing Carolina for 140 yards and his own touchdown on 27 takes.

  • There were more holes to be exploited on that defense as the game went on. A handful of busted coverages and open lanes helped push Minnesota to a whopping 571 total yards.

It was over when . . .

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

It was over when the game was, well, over.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins took the first, and only, possession of the overtime period on a nine-play, 75-yard trip to the end zone. He found wideout K.J. Osborn on a 27-yard touchdown to walk it off.

Players of the game

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

  • LB Haason Reddick: eight tackles (three for a loss), fumble recovery

  • LB Frankie Luvu: seven tackles (one for a loss), blocked punt

  • CB Keith Taylor: 10 tackles, three pass deflections

What's next?

AP Photo/Jacob Kupferman

The Panthers will travel to the Meadowlands in Week 7 to take on one of the few teams that look more discombobulated than they do at the moment, the 1-5 New York Giants.

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