Panthers lose third straight after comeback vs. Vikings falls short in OT

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) makes the game-winning catch against Carolina...
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) makes the game-winning catch against Carolina Panthers safety Sean Chandler (34) during overtime of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. The Minnesota Vikings won 34-28. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)(Gerald Herbert | AP)
Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 6:00 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers lost their third-straight game on Sunday in heartbreaking fashion as a late fourth-quarter comeback fell short in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings.

Quarterback Sam Darnold led the Panthers (3-3) on an 11-play, 96-yard drive down the field with under two minutes remaining to tie the game up at 28 and send it to overtime, but Minnesota (3-3) won the coin toss and scored a touchdown for a 34-28 victory.

The game-tying drive was Darnold’s only one of the day as he struggled for the second-straight week. He finished 17 of 41 for 207 yards, one TD, an interception and a fumble.

On the drive, Darnold threw a 41-yard pass to tight end Ian Thomas, before finding receiver D.J. Moore for 25 yards and Robby Anderson for a seven-yard touchdown. Tight end Tommy Tremble caught a shovel pass for the two-point conversion to make it 28-28 with 42 seconds remaining.

The catches from Moore and Anderson came after critical drops, which was a pattern throughout the game.

Minnesota kicker Greg Joseph then missed a 47-yard field goal to win the game in regulation.

Carolina’s defense wasn’t able to give the offense another chance in overtime, as Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins led the offense down the field in nine plays, and connected with receiver K.J. Osborn for a 27-yard game-winning touchdown.

The loss came after a first-half that was one to forget for the Panthers. There were multiple penalties, dropped passes and sloppy plays, and Carolina had just 108 yards of total offense. They finished the day with 306 offensive yards but were just 2-for-12 on third downs.

When the Panthers finally began to find a rhythm on offense, the defense was unable to hold up, and Minnesota finished the day with 571 total offensive yards. Running back Dalvin Cook had 140 rushing yards and a touchdown and wide receiver Adam Thielen had 11 catches for 126 yards and a TD.

The Vikings had not scored a second-half touchdown in their previous four games but had three offensive scores after halftime.

Kicker Zane Gonzalez hit two field goals for Carolina, Chuba Hubbard scored his first career touchdown in the first quarter and safety Kenny Robinson scored a touchdown off a blocked punt return by Frankie Luvu.

The Panthers are back on the road next Sunday to face the 1-5 New York Giants.

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