Newton coming off perfect second half

After facing a nearly perfect Aaron Rodgers on Sunday, the Vikings defense will face another hot quarterback with the Panthers' Cam Newton. Newton was as efficient as it gets in the second half of Carolina's last game.

QB Cam Newton had a terrific second half for the Panthers last Sunday against Washington, posting a perfect QB rating of 158.3.

Newton was a perfect 8-for-8 for 152 yards with a touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell. He led the Panthers on three straight touchdown drives to start the second half.

"When you watch it on tape, we made some good adjustments, but there was some great execution," coach Ron Rivera said. "There were some good adjustment by our coaches, and I think the players handled those adjustments well."

  • WR Brandon LaFell continues to emerge as a solid third-down receiver for the Panthers.

    He caught his second touchdown pass of the season this past Sunday and could have had a third had he not stepped out of bounds on a 37-yard catch along the left sidelines.

    "It was really pleasing to see Brandon get opportunities and then take advantage," coach Ron Rivera said. "It's great that he continues to grow in his role in what we do and the way he does things."

    LaFell said he struggled early on to learn the new offense but said he knows it inside and out now.

  • LT Jordan Gross joked that he might not have enough food to feed everyone after Carolina's win over Washington on Sunday.

    "It's great," Gross said. "I usually have food catered for us to tailgate afterwards so our families can hang out, but the attendance has been poor lately. Now, I'll probably have too many people. Ever since the beginning of camp, this group has worked hard and fought and scratched. It's so rewarding to get the win."

    The Panthers have a chance to surpass last year's season win total on Sunday.

    "Hopefully, we can carry the momentum into next week and go into the bye 3-5, then see what happens from there," Gross said.

  • Gross is equipped to handle Vikings DE Jared Allen, but you have to wonder how Byron Bell feels. Bell will make his fourth start as a rookie and could see some of Allen, who leads the NFL with 11.5 sacks.

    Bell has allowed at least one sack in each of his three starts.

  • DE Charles Johnson has 14 sacks over his past 14 games.

  • The Panthers like what they saw out of weak side linebacker Jason Phillips and believe he's their best option moving forward at that position. He will make his second start this week against Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. They will need Phillips to be a presence in the running game.

  • TE Greg Olsen looks to bounce back this week after catching just one pass for four yards last week.

  • TE Jeremy Shockey is becoming a bigger fixture in the offense in recent weeks, although he still hasn't scored this season. He has a good chance to do that on Sunday against the Vikings.

  • RB Jonathan Stewart is starting to steal some of Cam Newton's goal line carries. Stewart has scored on a pair of 2-yard runs the last two weeks.

  • RB DeAngelo Williams is still seeing extensive playing time, but isn't a factor in the red zone.

  • WR Brandon LaFell will remain the team's No. 3 receiver, although he's pushing Legedu Naanee hard for the No. 2 spot.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – Cam Newton is the first NFL player to have at least seven rushing TDs and seven passing TDs in the first seven games of his career.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "There were a lot of moving parts early on. Assessing all those things to make decisions on and putting the package together was the biggest challenge." – Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski on what he's done to turn around Carolina's offense, which has gone from 32nd in the league last year to fifth this season.


  • Viking Update Top Stories

    \r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" QB Cam Newton had a terrific second half for the Panthers last Sunday against Washington, posting a perfect QB rating of 158.3. Newton was a perfect 8-for-8 for 152 yards with a touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell. He led the Panthers on three straight touchdown drives to start the second half. \"When you watch it on tape, we made some good adjustments, but there was some great execution,\" coach Ron Rivera said. \"There were some good adjustment by our coaches, and I think the players handled those adjustments well.\"
  • WR Brandon LaFell continues to emerge as a solid third-down receiver for the Panthers. He caught his second touchdown pass of the season this past Sunday and could have had a third had he not stepped out of bounds on a 37-yard catch along the left sidelines. \"It was really pleasing to see Brandon get opportunities and then take advantage,\" coach Ron Rivera said. \"It's great that he continues to grow in his role in what we do and the way he does things.\" LaFell said he struggled early on to learn the new offense but said he knows it inside and out now.
  • LT Jordan Gross joked that he might not have enough food to feed everyone after Carolina's win over Washington on Sunday. \"It's great,\" Gross said. \"I usually have food catered for us to tailgate afterwards so our families can hang out, but the attendance has been poor lately. Now, I'll probably have too many people. Ever since the beginning of camp, this group has worked hard and fought and scratched. It's so rewarding to get the win.\" The Panthers have a chance to surpass last year's season win total on Sunday. \"Hopefully, we can carry the momentum into next week and go into the bye 3-5, then see what happens from there,\" Gross said.
  • Gross is equipped to handle Vikings DE Jared Allen, but you have to wonder how Byron Bell feels. Bell will make his fourth start as a rookie and could see some of Allen, who leads the NFL with 11.5 sacks. Bell has allowed at least one sack in each of his three starts.
  • DE Charles Johnson has 14 sacks over his past 14 games.
  • The Panthers like what they saw out of weak side linebacker Jason Phillips and believe he's their best option moving forward at that position. He will make his second start this week against Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. They will need Phillips to be a presence in the running game.
  • TE Greg Olsen looks to bounce back this week after catching just one pass for four yards last week.
  • TE Jeremy Shockey is becoming a bigger fixture in the offense in recent weeks, although he still hasn't scored this season. He has a good chance to do that on Sunday against the Vikings.
  • RB Jonathan Stewart is starting to steal some of Cam Newton's goal line carries. Stewart has scored on a pair of 2-yard runs the last two weeks.
  • RB DeAngelo Williams is still seeing extensive playing time, but isn't a factor in the red zone.
  • WR Brandon LaFell will remain the team's No. 3 receiver, although he's pushing Legedu Naanee hard for the No. 2 spot. BY THE NUMBERS: 7 – Cam Newton is the first NFL player to have at least seven rushing TDs and seven passing TDs in the first seven games of his career. QUOTE TO NOTE: \"There were a lot of moving parts early on. Assessing all those things to make decisions on and putting the package together was the biggest challenge.\" – Offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski on what he's done to turn around Carolina's offense, which has gone from 32nd in the league last year to fifth this season.
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