Friday, October 28, 2011

Panthers-Vikings thoughts -- and a prediction

The Panthers and Vikings play about every other year, aren’t division rivals and don’t have a huge history.

I do vividly remember two plays from these teams’ nine games, however. Longtime Panther fans may remember them, too.

The first one came in 2001. In the first game of his NFL career, about to touch the ball for the first time, a kick returner named Steve Smith was already angry. I know you’re stunned.

Smith told me long ago that a Vikings’ special-teamer had disrespected him before the game, referring to Smith’s college by telling him: “This ain’t Utah no more, son.”

“That was the wrong thing to say,” Smith said. The first time he touched the ball in a real NFL game, he returned it 93 yards for a touchdown. Carolina won that game and then lost the next 15 in a row. Hardly anyone from that game is still playing now. But Smith is, no longer returning kicks but leading the NFL in reception yards.

-- The other play I remember from this series came in 1997. The game was tied in the fourth quarter and Minnesota was at the Carolina 3 when Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson dropped back and threw. The ball was swatted by Panther nose tackle Greg Kragen.

End of play, right? Nope. Johnson caught the deflection and then ran into the end zone.

The official play-by-play read: “Johnson 3 pass from Johnson.” I guess fantasy footballers got double credit if they had played Johnson that day. Minnesota then won the game.

-- Panther defensive end Charles Johnson dressed up for a Halloween costume party this week as Chewbacca of “Star Wars” fame. Johnson said that the judging must have been rigged, however, because somehow his costume didn’t win.
“Chewbacca? That’s classic,” Johnson said.

-- The Panthers’ ability – or inability -- to stop Adrian Peterson will be the game’s biggest key Sunday. I think Cam Newton will outplay Christian Ponder, but that advantage could be negated if Peterson goes for 150.

-- Here's my story on Antwan Applewhite from today -- Applewhite has made a solid impact in under a month as a Panther.

-- Don’t set too much stock in my prediction. I’ve missed the Panther outcome the past two weeks in a row, dropping my record over the past 22 Carolina games to 16-6. But I think the final score Sunday will be Carolina 30, Minnesota 21.


Anonymous said...

Scott, I'm surprised you left out probably THE most memorable game of this series, it's the game I will never forget b/c I was there, played at home, The game where Smith caught the long touchdown pass from Delhomme and he did the "Vikings row your boat" celebration in the endzone... the same game where one of the Viking cornerbacks,Fred Smoot, talked junk to Smith before the game and then Smith proceeded to go off for over 220 yards receiving, and a couple of tds. This game occured right after the Viking party boat incident. ALso in this game, Dante Culpepper went down with a knee injury for the season, in a hit applied by Mike Minter, and was never the same afterwards. Mike Tice would later be fired as head coach. Smith must really have something against the Vikings, lol.

Anonymous said...

That game was AWESOME! Steve Smith basically ended poor Fred Smoot's career with that smackdown.

Ghoul said...

Peterson is chomping at the bit for this game. I'm sure his linemen will try to get him an NFL record 300 yards in this game.

Anonymous said...

How about the game that Chris Gamble caught a punt then tried to lateral pass it...Vikings recover and score on a fake field goal sending the game to OT, where we lost.

Anonymous said...

cifyiThe most memorable panther-vikes game was when the panthers had the lead late in the game,minny had just scored,and the panthers tried a stupid lateral when they received the kickoff and fumbled it.I don't remember the players involved,but one panther fielded the kick,threw a pass(lateral)about 10 yards to the other panther,and he botched it,but because it was a backwards pass,it was considered a lateral and minny recovered.A few plays later,minny took it in for the winning td.That is still considered the biggest bonehead play and call by a coach in panther history!

Anonymous said...

Just curious, Scott. What's your record when picking the Panthers to win. v. picking them to lose?

Anonymous said...

Just curious, Scott. What's your record when picking the Panthers to win. v. picking them to lose?

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, the Johnson-to-Johnson TD pass. You will also recall that Cris Carter played for the Vikes then, becuase Buddy Ryan had gotten rid of him in Philly because, "all he does is catch touchdowns." Johnson appeared on "Up Close" with Roy Firestone the week after the game with us. Firestone asked him about the play and Johnson quipped, "All I do is catch touchdowns." Would have been a lot funnier if it hadn't happened against us.

The lateral? I remember that too. It was one of a long line of botched trick plays. Remember William Floyd's fullback pass that was intercepted in the end zone by former Panther Chad Cota? How about the "Fordham Fade" - when Jake threw a fade pass in the end zone to tackle-eligible Todd Fordham?

Another oddity - I think the first 4 times we played the Vikes were all in Minnesota, and I think 4 of the most recent 5, including this week, were here.

Anonymous said...

Get to Ponder early and contain 28 "somewhat" so that it doesn't break our backs. If Peterson gets 100+ then let it be a hard days work with no 35yd scampers left and right. I buy the prediction. Panthers by 10 any combination.

Anonymous said...

what about the love boat celebration? That one doesnt come to mind? One of Smitty's best days ever, he straight up torched Fred Smoot all day long.

Anonymous said...

Yep, can't believe you left out the Gamble lateral. Glad that was a one-time thing.

Smith vs Smoot was classic. Smoot was abused.

Scott Fowler said...

Guys, great stuff regarding the Gamble botched lateral (remember, that was a called play, not Gamble doing it on his own) and the Smith/Smoot/Love Boat end zone celebration remembrances. Smith has actually had several great games vs. Vikings -- he had 201 yards in a 2005 game and 157 in 2009 (with Matt Moore throwing the ball!) I love the way you guys often remember more than I do. Weird how the Vikings series, short as it is, has produced so many oddball moments. Thanks for all the good comments. (p.s. As for the questioner who asked what my record is picking Panthers to win vs. to lose, I'm sorry that I don't keep up with that).

Anonymous said...

Many people are jumping on Carolina bc of Newton.

Carolina's rush defense is ranked 28th.

Turner had a field day on them, just imagine what Peterson is gonna do.

Ponder did pretty well against GB.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Panther fan that used to live in MN. I was there at the 2001 game and remember a 70+ flea flicker to a wide open Moose. Last time I saw the Panthers win there. Really hoping for a win this sunday so my colleagues from back home don't give me grief for the rest of the year.

Anonymous said...

Scott said:

"The Panthers’ ability – or inability -- to stop Adrian Peterson will be the game’s biggest key Sunday. I think Cam Newton will outplay Christian Ponder, but that advantage could be negated if Peterson goes for 150."

Are the Panthers reported 2 good running backs not better than 1 from Minnesota? Would they be worth more if Stewart ran more (he can also catch passes) and Williams ran less, especially on 1st and 10.

How is this a factor in the game?

John - Harrisburg, NC said...

More proof that Charlotte is not yet, a mature NFL town. Walked into Hobby Lobby today and they had a large display of NFL Christmas ornaments... all were either Pittsburg Steelers or Dallas Cowboys! Nothing Panthers related!

No mature NFL city would tolerate this!

Anonymous said...

So it's the Vikings fault that Steve Smith turned into an idiot?

Anonymous said...

Hey John, I walked into that same Hobby Lobby and picked up your man card.

dcboy60 said...

I remember that game also. I have rarely seen one player dominate another so completely as Smith dominated Smoot that day. I actually felt sorry for Smoot after that game. Smoot was just plain overmatched. It was not a contest. I remember the hit applied to Dante Culpepper was Chris Gamble coming from the side and having to tackle Culpepper low. He hit Culpepper's right knee from the side and the knee bent inward at a sickening angle.

Anonymous said... definitely a tool.


Anonymous said...

I'm still not wearing my Panther's Pajamas! Your prediction of a Panthers win is enough of a burden for them to have to carry. But if I put those pajamas on tonight, they're sure not to win and I for one, hope you're right.

Anonymous said...

Its one thing to heap praise on some 2 bit scammer crook drop out with adult freaks but another thing to use kids so deviously who are brainwashed by the adoration BS hype.

Kids should cheat lie steal play the system to get ahead, right? Follow some upstart rookie drop out Qb. Make him your hero even though the union criminals make him their poster boy and protect him at all costs and let him to win a few games.

Great example and role model for kids to follow. Total joke. Somebody tell the local rag to cut plastering this scam artist all over the Sunday front page and keep it in the sports section only and they might sell more papers and stay in business.

0-3 and 2-5 WOW !!!

fezziwig2008 said...

The Vikings will be CAMSHAFTED today! 4 sale all you car dealerships and

adult entertainment venues in the Charlotte area- on

Anonymous said... sure your record is that good? This is your 3rd loss in a row,and not even close.I wonder if there are some archives we can go to and recheck your predictions....or maybe your math is just off.Two bad teams playing each other with only 1 win apiece.....the bad team at home should win.Panthers are terrible!

Anonymous said...


Ha Ha ha


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