Here's a key matchup to watch in Sunday's Vikings-Panthers game.
Vikings OLT Charlie Johnson vs. Panthers DE Charles Johnson
Charles Johnson is one of the few Panthers defenders playing at a high level. He has been solid against the run and is excellent rushing the passer, with six sacks on the season. Johnson is not a pure speed rusher, but he has good speed and is able to mix in the bull rush and finesse moves to get to the quarterback.
Charlie Johnson probably has been the Vikings' most inconsistent offensive lineman. He doesn't get much of a push in the running game because of his size and struggles in pass protection with speed and power. He's a below-average left tackle.
To protect rookie QB Christian Ponder's blind side, the Vikings will have to give Charlie Johnson help in the form of chips from the backs and double-teams from tight ends. While Ponder has athleticism is mobile, the team doesn't want him being chased by a 275-pound Pro Bowl defensive end all afternoon.