Thanks to the Brett Favre factor, this one will be played under the lights at Bank of America Stadium. That doesn’t mean this game is going to be ready for prime time, however.
-- If you’re not busy, keep a count for me Sunday on the different positive adjectives that NBC's announcers use to describe Favre. I mean it. Make a list and then e-mail it to me at email@example.com. I’ve got the over-under at about 30.
-- Matt Moore makes his third straight start today for Carolina. What we’ve seen from Moore – one really good deep throw per game and not a whole lot else – doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence. No matter who is doing the picking for Carolina in the April 2010 draft, put me down right now as betting that the Panthers will take a quarterback at some point.
-- What would have happened if the Panthers had pursued Favre in the offseason? Probably nothing. I doubt Favre would have wanted to sign here given that Jake Delhomme, at the time, was entrenched as a starter. A team like Minnesota offered a great nucleus with a gaping hole at quarterback.
-- Carolina’s only chance today will come if the Panthers can somehow out-physical the Vikings, like Arizona did a couple of weeks ago. The Cardinals, astoundingly, held Adrian Peterson to 19 yards in 13 carries. Can’t see that happening Sunday, but that’s close to what it would take.
-- Watch Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield play some in this one. That guy is something.
-- I don’t think this one is going to be very close – the Vikings are a bad matchup for Carolina. My prediction: Minnesota 27, Carolina 10.
(The stats: I'm 8-5 picking the Panthers' outcome for the season. But my preseason prediction that the Panthers would go 7-9 is starting to look too optimistic).