NFL Week 8 Preview: Minnesota Vikings vs. Carolina Panthers (-3)


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The Carolina Panthers’ week seven win over the Washington Redskins was a combination of two forces. The first is the downward spiral that the Redskins find itself on. Even though Rex Grossman took the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl, he has never been considered a stable NFL starter. Quarterback John Beck has always been hyped as having a lot of skills and potential, but he is still winless as a starter in the NFL. A team without a proven winner at starting quarterback is not going to win a lot of football games.

The other cost per head factor working against the Redskins was the fact that the Carolina Panthers just keep getting better each and every week. The season started in a flash as rookie quarterback Cam Newton looked like he was going to break every single season NFL passing record in the books. But, early in the season, the Carolina defense was not pulling its weight. Over the past seven weeks, the Panthers’ defense has become very good at taking the ball away and putting pressure on the opposing quarterback. People forget that the Carolina defense, just like its quarterback, is very young. The entire Panthers team is learning how to win at a frightening pace.

Minnesota Vikings

Rookie quarterback Christian Ponder looked very impressive in his NFL debut in week seven against the defending World Champion Green Bay Packers. Ponder looked confident and seemed like he was ready to be an NFL quarterback. The price per head services noticed a lot of rookie mistakes Ponder made in his decision making, but all of his issues can be corrected with coaching and experience. Minnesota has definitely found its starting quarterback and the Minnesota defense also played extremely well in the second half of the game against Green Bay. But the Vikings’ defense got off to another slow start and that may have been what cost Minnesota the game.

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton is proving to be one of the best NFL betting picks in recent draft history. After seven games, Newton has 2,103 passing yards. But Newton only has eight touchdown passes and has thrown nine interceptions, which shows that his red zone decision making is still suspect. The Panthers just keep getting better and better each week and Newton is just one part of a team that is developing into what could be a powerhouse NFL team in just a few years.

The Bottom Line

The intertops key to this game is the Minnesota defense. Cam Newton has thrown the ball all over the field, but he is not scoring points. Next season, Newton should have gained the necessary experience to be a scoring machine. But the Vikings’ offense is much-improved under Ponder, and the Minnesota defense should be able to force Newton to make critical mistakes. This will be a fun game to watch and it will be interesting to see if Ponder is going to improve week to week or if he is going to gather experience this year and become a top NFL quarterback next season.

Pick: Minnesota Vikings


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