The Carolina Panthers will take on the Minnesota Vikings Sunday in what equals to win a must-win game for both teams. The Panthers are hot off a 46-27 victory over the 49ers and the Vikings will be coming off a gritty 17-14 win over the Packers.
Both teams will enter the game without their starting RB’s as Adrian Peterson and Jonathan Stewart will be in street clothes watching their backups. The Panthers will hand the ball to Fozzy Whittaker, who ran for 100 yards on 16 carries. The Vikings are ranked 5th in rushing defense but that won’t matter if the Panthers stick to their gameplan.
The Vikings were able to shut down Eddie Lacy last week but the Panthers have a more balanced attack than the Packers offensively. The Panthers will love to start the game by pounding the ball up the middle to wear the defense down then hit either Benjamin or Ginn for a long bomb to break the Vikings back. What will the Vikings do?
If the Vikings fear the pass, as they should after Newton torched the 49ers defense for four passing TD’s then that will leave them venerable to the run. If they stack the line, that will make them venerable against the pass. With Sam Bradford at QB, no Peterson, and going against a great defense like the Panthers, this could get out of hand. If the Panthers can get to Bradford, thus resulting in more time for Newton and the offense, the score could be Madden-like by halftime.
If so, that will mean run, run, run for Carolina. The Panthers can also wear the defense down with bruiser, Mike Tolbert and still throw Newton at them. To be successful against a strong run defense you must hit them in the mouth. Whittaker may not be that guy but the Panthers have other backs that can soften the defense up for him late in the third and fourth quarters.
Whittaker has the speed to break the first line of defense against the Vikings and id he can get at least three shots in the pen field, he will break one of them for the distance. Whittaker is not a household name, which will make some owners second guess playing him against such a stout defense but the Panthers as a team will wear the defense down and leave the rest for Whittaker to handle.
Whittaker is a must Fantasy Football start against the Vikings.