12 Snap Reactions after Vikings at Panthers

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

From a suggestion by a reader, we continue our “snap reactions” weekly piece this season detailing thoughts and analysis after a Minnesota Vikings game.

12 Snap Reactions after Vikings at Panthers

This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.

The Vikings won 21-13 in Week 4 on the road against the Carolina Panthers, a season-saving triumph with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs heading to the Twin Cities in one week. Minnesota moved to 1-3, third place in the NFC North.

after Vikings at Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

1 – Harrison Smith logged 14 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 QB hits, and 2 tackles for loss. He — almost alone — is why the Vikings finally won a game after a playoff loss, three preseason failures, and an 0-3 record to start the regular season. Vintage Hitman.

2 – D.J. Wonnum’s fumble recovery touchdown arguably saved the Vikings season.

3 – Cam Akers played wonderfully, tallying 51 yards from scrimmage on 7 touches. Welcome to Minnesota.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

4 – Don’t look now, but the Vikings defense only allowed 6 points on the road. Not bad. There is hope.

5 – Kirk Cousins’ touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson after the offside penalty — so, a free play — felt like the first time that’s worked to the tune of a touchdown for the Vikings in years.

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports.

6 – Jordan Addison had his first quiet game of the year, and of course, Minnesota decided it was time to actually win.

7 – The Vikings lost the time of possession battle 38 minutes to 21 — and they, along with most NFL teams, typically lose when that occurs. Phew.

8 – Marcus Davenport, alas, hit the field and promptly logged a sack, tackle for loss, and QB hit. This was the vision all along for his free-agent acquisition, so when he finally returned to health, it made sense that he was quite good.

9 – Opposing kickers continue to drill abnormally long field goals against the Vikings. It’s like a real-life curse. Eddie Pineiro connected from 56 yards because, of course, he did.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

10 – Minnesota probably won’t defeat the Chiefs in seven days, but if nothing else, the win at Carolina inspires momentum for the team and its fans. After that, the Vikings have a date at Soldier Field with the reeling Chicago Bears, a team that collapsed against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

11 – Alexander Mattison banked 95 yards on 17 carries, so perhaps declaring the man dead as an RB1 was premature. He also didn’t fumble — which helps.

12 – Kirk Cousins conducted his first meh game of 2023, and the Vikings decided it was time to win. Sometimes, you can’t make this stuff up.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.