STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – This will be ninth game at Minnesota in 12 meetings between teams. … Panthers were 1-3 last year when they arrived in Minnesota and blew out Vikings, first of eight straight wins on way to 12-4 record, division title and first-round playoff bye. That was also first of four straight losses by Vikings that led to 1-7 start. … Despite five straight defeats and 1-7-1 record in last nine games, Panthers are half-game out of first place in weak NFC South. They have road games left against division co-leaders Atlanta and New Orleans. … Panthers FB Mike Tolbert, Pro Bowl pick last season, expected to return after spending last eight games on injured reserve with broken leg. Tolbert scored two touchdowns against Vikings last year. … Panthers QB Cam Newton accounted for four TDs against Vikings last season. Newton has nine TD passes and 10 interceptions in last seven games and has been picked off at least once in each of them. … Panthers will have different offensive line for sixth straight game, with RT Nate Chandler out for year with right knee injury. … In his last four games, Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater has thrown for five TDs and four interceptions and taken seven sacks. … Vikings CB Captain Munnerlyn will face former team. He was seventh-round draft pick in 2009 by Panthers and is franchise leader with five career interception returns for TDs. … Blair Walsh, who holds Vikings career record with 17 FGs of 50-plus yards, leads NFL in that category since entering league in 2012. He’s tied for NFL lead with five this year.
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