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(Sunday, October 13th)
Final Score: Carolina 35, Minnesota 10
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Cam Newton passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, while scoring another on the ground, as the Carolina Panthers pasted the Minnesota Vikings, 35-10, on Sunday.
Newton was good on 20 of his 26 passes and totaled 30 yards on nine totes for the Panthers (2-3), who have won two of their last three.
"The whole offense, we played as consistently as we have all year," Newton stated.
Brandon LaFell led all receivers with 107 yards and posted a TD catch among his four receptions, Steve Smith also notched a scoring grab and Mike Tolbert reached the end zone twice on a pass and rush.
Matt Cassel completed 32-of-44 passes for 241 yards, one touchdown and two picks for the Vikings (1-4), who failed to keep momentum from last week's victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Adrian Peterson, playing less than 48 hours after the death of one of his children, ended with 62 yards on 10 carries and three catches for 21 yards.
After 14 methodical plays from its own 38 following a Mike Mitchell interception, Carolina's first touch of the contest boiled down to a 4th-and-1 from the Minnesota 2-yard line. Following a timeout, the Panthers took a 7-0 lead when Newton found Smith for a score.
"It's what we're going to do," said Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. "We're going to do the best we can to make things happen."
The visitors went up 14-0 with 3:43 remaining in the half as Tolbert powered his way up the middle, shaking off several tacklers en route to a 10-yard catch-and-run TD.
Cassel revved up his two-minute offense, and after a potential touchdown catch from Kyle Rudolph on 3rd-and-1 from the Panthers' 4-yard line was ruled to be out of bounds, Blair Walsh made a 22-yarder.
Newton's deep heave down the right sideline to LaFell on the Panthers' third play from scrimmage in the third quarter resulted in a 79-yard scoring connection and 21-3 edge.
It was a 25-point lead for Carolina after Newton called his own number for a 7-yard TD scamper with just over six minutes left in the period.
Peterson's longest run of the game, a 31-yard dash, came on the first play of Minnesota's ensuing series, but the hosts turned the ball over on downs after a Cassel pass was incomplete on 4th-and-7 from the Carolina 35.
Early in the fourth, Mitchell picked off Cassel once more and returned the ball 38 yards to the Vikings' 21. Tolbert then capped a five-play drive with a 1-yard plunge to paydirt and the Panthers led 35-3.
The Minnesota offense had one final answer, as Cassel found Rudolph for a 23- yard score with one minute remaining.
"This was a very disappointing loss," said Vikes head coach Leslie Frazier. "There's a lot of football left, and we have got to get better."
Carolina improved to 5-6 all-time against Minnesota ... DeAngelo Williams led Carolina's rushing attack with 64 yards on 17 carries, and posted 53 yards on five receptions ... Rudolph finished with team highs of 97 yards and nine catches ... The Panthers converted 7-of-12 third downs and both of their fourth-down opportunities ... The Vikings have given up 30-or-more points in four of their five games this season.
10/13 18:30:54 ET