By Steve Reed, AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Longwell kicked a 31-yard field goal with 2:43 left in the game to lift the Vikings to a 24-21 victory over the Panthers on Sunday.
Cam Newton put the Panthers (2-6) in position to tie the game in the final two minutes. He completed a 44-yard pass to Brandon LaFell on fourth-and-15, but Olindo Mare was wide left with a 31-yard field goal attempt with 26 seconds left.
Adrian Peterson ran for 162 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Vikings (2-6) snapped a two-game losing streak.
Christian Ponder won the battle of rookie quarterbacks, completing 18 of 28 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown.
Newton threw a season-best three touchdown passes, but had two costly fumbles on blindside hits that led to a pair of Minnesota touchdowns in the first half. Carolina's offense sputtered throughout most of the second half, going three-and-out three times.
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