The Vikings come to Carolina sporting an undefeated record through the first two weeks, having defeated Tennessee in Week 1 and the Green Bay Packers in Week 2.
Like the Vikings, the Panthers are without their starting running back for the first time this season. Jonathan Stewart suffered a hamstring injuring in Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers and was replaced by backup Fozzy Whittaker, who proceeded to rush for 100 yards in the 46-27 victory. With key injuries to each team’s primary runners, this matchup will likely come down to quarterbacks and team defense.
Through the first two weeks, the Vikings seem to have the edge defensively, ranking fifth best in points conceded per game (15) and fifth in yards against per game (289.5) versus Carolina’s (1-1) 24 points and 304.5 yards against per game.
Although Cam Newton is the more fear-inducing of the two quarterbacks, the Panthers cannot underestimate the Vikings’ Sam Bradford. After being traded eight days before the beginning of regular season from Philadelphia, Bradford led the Vikes to victory over their NFC North rivals, the Green Bay Packers, 17-14.
NFL Odds: Panthers host Vikings in Week 3
The Panthers are 7-point favorites in Carolina (1 PM ET, FOX) in their Week 3 matchup versus the Minnesota Vikings. Both teams will be without their starting running backs, as Adrian Peterson (meniscus tear) and Jonathan Stewart (hamstring) will be sidelined for at least one week.
Vikings’ newcomer, QB Sam Bradford, will look to build on his first start and win of the season in Week 3. After being traded just eight days before the start of the regular season, Bradford looked sharp against a struggling San Francisco 49ers squad. Cam Newton will look to continue his dominance as rusher and passer extraordinaire, as this matchup will likely come down to execution by quarterbacks and team defense.