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Vikings at Panthers By the Numbers

The Vikings have won eight games in a row.

They have a four-game lead in the NFC North. Yet, they haven’t accomplished anything yet according to head coach Mike Zimmer. That can change when the Vikings travel to Carolina this weekend in search of their ninth straight victory and sixth straight road win.

Sunday’s conference showdown has very big playoff implications. After the Vikings victory over Atlanta, Minnesota (10-2) is currently the number one seed in the NFC. The team owns a four-game lead over Detroit and Green Bay in the NFC North. The Vikings can clinch the division (and a playoff birth) with a win over the Panthers.

The Panthers are 8-4 and are second in the NFC South (behind 9-3 New Orleans). Currently, Carolina is a Wild Card team (6th seed) in the NFC playoff picture. The Panthers lost 31-21 to the Saints in a divisional matchup on Sunday. Carolina has the same record as Seattle but the Seahawks have a better conference record.

Carolina has a number of offensive threats, including rookie running back Christian McCaffrey, wide receiver Devin Funchess and of course quarterback Cam Newton. We’ll take a closer look at how the teams match up later in the week. Until then, let’s take a look at how the Vikings and Panthers stack up by the numbers.

The Numbers

The Vikings remain the only team in the NFL with a top-five offense AND defense. Furthermore, Minnesota boats the league’s most efficient 3rd-down offense (46%) AND defense (27.2%).


Minnesota Ranks:

  • 5th in total offense with 370.4 yards per game
  • 13th in passing (247.6 YPG)
  • 6th in rushing (122.8 YPG)
  • 11th in scoring (23.8 PPG)

Carolina Ranks:

  • 18th in total offense with 328.7 yards per game
  • 25th in passing (200.9 YPG)
  • 5th in rushing (127.8 YPG)
  • 15th in scoring (22.4 PPG)

Minnesota Ranks:

  • 2nd in total defense, allowing 289.1 yards per game
  • 10th in passing yards allowed (211.4 YPG)
  • 2nd in rushing yards allowed (77.7 YPG)
  • 2nd in scoring (17.0 PPG)

Carolina ranks:

  • 6th in total defense, allowing 297.6 yards per game
  • 8th in passing yards allowed (209.0 YPG)
  • 4th in rushing yards allowed (88.6 YPG)
  • 11th in scoring (19.8 PPG)

Matchup History

  • In the last regular season matchup between the two teams in 2016, the Vikings beat the Panthers (at Carolina), 22 to 10.
  • Minnesota leads the all-time series 8-5 over Carolina.

The last game of the Vikings current three-game road trip is Sunday at noon (CST). The Vikings are 5-1 on the road this season while the Panthers are 3-2 at home.

Stats courtesy of Matchup history courtesy of

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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  1. Vikings also are the #1 team on 3rd downs… both sides of the ball. I’d like to see a stat about teams accomplishing that before. This team is pretty special. skol.

    1. Dave Danger, sorry for the delay. I did some research because I wanted to know this stat too. What I found out was this:

      According to, the 3rd-down conversion stats began being recorded in 1991. Since then, there has been NO team that has FINISHED the season as No. 1 in both 3rd-down offense and defense.

      The CLOSEST a team has gotten to accomplishing the feat was the 2005 Michael Vick-led Atlanta Falcons, who finished No. 2 in 3rd-down offense (43%) and No. 1 in 3rd-down defense (30%). The team finished 8-8 and did not make the playoffs!

      The LAST TIME a team finished top-5 in both 3rd-down offense and defense was in 2012, when the Denver Broncos finished No. 3 in offense (45%) and No. 1 in defense (31%).

      This year, both the Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles are currently top-5 in both 3rd-down offense and defense. The Vikings are No. 2 in 3rd-down offense (46%) and No. 1 in 3rd-down defense (28%), while the Eagles are No. 3 in 3rd-down offense (45%) and No. 3 in 3rd-down defense (30%).

      I was unable to find the last time an NFL team accomplished the feat DURING THE SEASON. I would guess that it’s happened before, but there’s a chance that the 2017 Vikings could have been the first team to do so.

      I’ll keep looking. SKOL