Minnesota Vikings defensive grade: C+
Two defensive lapses ultimately decided the game in favor of the home team.
The 60 and 62-yard runs collectively accounted for nearly half of the Panthers’ total offense. They both led to tie-breaking TD’s.
If Eric Kendricks doesn’t allegedly lose gap discipline, and Andrew Sendejo doesn’t get absolutely juked out of his shoes (although a blatant hold on Anthony Barr that sprung Cam Newton loose was left uncalled), this defense would deserve a stellar grade.
They kept Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey in check for the majority of the game. They were stifling on third down for the most part and gave the offense a chance for a comeback attempt.
Two crucial facemask penalties, one on a third and long against Anthony Barr and one on a sack against Everson Griffen, kept a TD drive alive for the Panthers. They were fluke and unintentional, and the only penalties called against Minnesota on the day, but giving a team 30 free yards is never going to work out well, and it turned out to cost the Vikings the game.