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(SportsNetwork.com) - Life isnt always fair. At 3-7-1 on the season the Carolina Panthers are just one-half game out of first place in the dreadful NFC South. Conversely the Minnesota Vikings are a tick better at 4-7 and all but dead and buried in the tough NFC North. The Panthers will arrive in the Twin Cities well rested and coming off an always advantageous late bye week, something made even more sweet when the rest of the NFC South -- New Orleans, Atlanta and Tampa Bay -- lost in Week 12 while Cam Newton and Co. were watching. Currently the Saints and Falcons are tied atop the division at 4-7 with the Bucs bringing up the rear behind the Panthers at 2-9. Carolina is a step behind Atlanta because of a 19-17 Week 11 home loss to the Falcons in which Matt Bryant connected on four field goals, including a 44- yarder late in the fourth quarter to lift Atlanta. Newton struggled for much of the game, but did have two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and finished the game 23-for-37 for 292 yards with two interceptions for the Panthers, who have lost five straight overall after tying a game against Cincinnati in Week 6. Weve just got to play better, as a team, as a group and take that challenge personally, said Newton. I know Im better than how Im playing. We just have to get things going. Newtons second touchdown pass of the fourth quarter had given the Panthers a 17-16 lead with 6:20 to play. The Falcons Matt Ryan, though, was able to get his team into scoring position, thanks in part to three receptions by Harry Douglas for 29 yards. Bryant booted the 44-yarder in with 2:08 to play for a 19-17 lead. The Panthers were able to get into field goal range on their ensuing touch, thanks in part to catches of 15 yards and 17 yards from Greg Olsen and Kelvin Benjamin, respectively. Graham Gano, though, missed a 46-yarder just to the left with 1:22 to play. This was a tough one to swallow, said Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. I talked to the players about this and told them were still in the middle of it, believe it or not, but weve got to start taking care of our own end first. In Minnesota, things havent gone as expected this season under first-year coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings were planning to lean on MVP candidate Adrian Peterson running behind veteran Matt Cassel at quarterback with second-year stud Cordarrelle Patterson serving as an over the top threat outside the numbers. Instead Petersons personal issues have taken him out of the equation, Cassel broke his foot early in the season and Patterson has not developed, leaving Zimmer relying on a trio of rookies, QB Teddy Bridgewater, running back Jerick McKinnon and receiver Charles Johnson. Despite that Minnesota has remained very competitive and gave Green Bay, perhaps the NFCs best team, all it could handle in Week 12 before eventually succumbing 24-21. Bridgewater went 21-for-37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception against the Packers. McKinnon ran it 15 times for 54 yards and Johnson had three catches for 52 yards and a score, along with a two-point conversion. Im proud of the way the guys fought today, said Bridgewater. We fell short and didnt make enough plays to win this game, but the effort was there. We just have to continue to get better each week and be a consistent football team. The Vikings lead their all-time series with Carolina 6-5 but the Panthers have won two of the past three, including a 35-10 blowout last season when Newton threw for 242 yards and accounted for four TDs (three passing, one rushing). WHAT TO WATCH FOR Besides the obvious issue of not having Peterson, many of the Vikings offensive issues stem from the poor play of the offensive line, particularly the left side where left tackle Matt Kalil is having a disastrous year and left guard Charlie Johnson has only been a bit better. Kalil, the fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft who was a Pro Bowl player as a rookie, refused to comment after he was called for three penalties in the Vikings loss to the Packers. Honestly, it was hard for me to see, Zimmer said. The times when I watched him, (Kalil) seemed to be doing okay, but my eyes are looking at their coverage and the blitzes that theyre doing and Teddy (Bridgewater). After the contest, however, Kalil was videotaped knocking a hat off a fan who had criticized his play. I usually shrug off that stuff, Kalil said. Fans like to talk and say some things, but thats just something that I could have been a bigger man and walked away from. But it really wasnt that big of a deal. (The fan) just caught me when I had a short fuse that day. Meanwhile the strength of the group, the right side, is now entirely gone after right tackle Phil Loadholt tore his pec against Green Bay last weekend. The big Oklahoma product joins right guard Brandon Fusco, who also tore a pec earlier this season, on the sidelines. The incident (Sunday) with the media thing and the fan, obviously a lot of frustration, losing a game like that, losing Phil in the game to injury and stuff like that, Kalil said. So obviously I was a little upset, but I hope you guys didnt take anything personally. It was just one of those days, so I apologize for that. All of that means Minnesota offensive coordinator Norv Turner will be scaling back things even further with significant playing time for all three tight ends -- Kyle Rudolph, Rhett Ellison and Chase Ford -- with the intent on getting extra help for both Kalil and Mike Harris, a waiver pickup before the season who will replace Loadholt. The Carolina defense isnt what it was in 2013 when the team finished 12-4 and won the NFC South, allowing 374.0 yards per game, good for 25th in football. The group, however, is well set up to handle a Vikings attack which rarely stretches the field and, when it does, isnt all that effective because Bridgewater lacks accuracy down the football field. Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly, who leads the NFL with 436 tackles since entering the league in 2012, should be able to handle Minnesotas run game and when the Vikings offense gets one-dimensional, things can get ugly. Minnesota comes in ranked 30th overall on offense with only the NFLs two one- win teams, Jacksonville and Oakland worse. On the offensive side, the Panthers will certainly be helped by the extra rest because Newton clearly wasnt right physically before the bye. Carolina has had its own issues with the offensive line, however, with yet another change looming for Sunday with Amini Silatolu, a natural guard, in line to replace the injured Nate Chandler at right tackle. It will be the sixth different group the Panthers have used up front in six games. Our team is kind of banged up right now, especially losing a right tackle now, Silatolu told the Charlotte Observer. Its just up to us for the next person to step up. The Vikings are much improved defensively from the group that was torched by Cam in 2013 (12th overall) but the unit still struggles at times with situational football and bigger receivers, something that could signal a big day for 6-foot-5 rookie wideout Benjamin, who has 52 catches for 768 yards and leads all freshman with eight TD catches. Its not about accepting anything. Its just realizing you have to be better, Newton said. You cant get down on yourself because youre not getting the results. If anything you just got to keep going back to the lab and working on your craft and your product, and make that art shinier. OVERALL ANALYSIS The Panthers were likely sitting at home last week amazed that they are still in the NFC South race and the fact that this game actually means something for them, along with the Vikings dismal offensive line, should be the difference here. We control our own destiny, but this destiny is no easy catch, Newton said. We have to be men about this. We have to be professionals about this and weve got to set the standard for ourselves to play at. And anything less than that is unacceptable. Sports Network predicted outcome: Panthers 21, Vikings 17 Nike Free 3.0 Flyknit Cena . 3. Trevor Ariza left them talkin about 40. Ariza made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points to help the Washington Wizards win their sixth straight game, 122-103 over Philadelphia on Saturday night. pánské Nike Air Max Thea Print Natural černé/Fluorescent zelená běh boty . The same for both the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. http://www.czechbotyshop.com/nike-air-max-2015-damske-honeycomb-kpu-cerne-ruzovy-fluorescent-zluty-boty.html. - All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked spry enough in pregame warmups Sunday for Green Bays divisional playoff game against Dallas. Nike Air Max 90 Hyperfuse Shop . Head coach Randy Carlyle confirmed the news after the Leafs morning skate on Monday. Kozun was hurt during Friday nights home game against the Red Wings and did not make the return trip to Detroit for Saturdays game. Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit Cz . Fognini won 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 after Argentinas Carlos Berlocq had beaten Andreas Seppi 4-6, 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 on the outdoor clay surface. Doubles are set for Saturday with reverse singles on Sunday to decide which team reaches the quarterfinals.LA PLATA, Argentina -- Argentina easily beat Slovenia 2-0 in its last World Cup warmup with goals from Ricardo Alvarez and Lionel Messi on Saturday. Alvarez put a second-string Argentina ahead in the first half with a shot from the edge of the penalty area. Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria came on in the second half and combined elegantly to double the lead in the 67th minute. Aguero headed down a pass from Di Maria to set up Messi, who calmly slotted the ball past Slovenia goalkeeper Vid Belec. Argentina, which is set to travel to Brazil on Monday, faces Bosnia-Herzegovina in its Group F opener on June 15. "We are in good shape. We are a strong group, which is what weve been hoping to become from the start when (coachh) Alejandro (Sabella) came in," Messi said.dddddddddddd Sabella took over the national team in 2011. "Little by little, as we played well, we gained confidence," Messi said. Slovenia didnt qualify for the World Cup and was no match for Argentina even in a sleepy first half, when Sabella rested his top players. Belec saved the visitors from a bigger deficit, stopping two attempts by Maxi Rodriguez before halftime. Slovenias best chance came in the second half as Milivoje Novakovic spun around in the area and fired a shot straight at Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero. The hosts were not seriously challenged after that and came close to making it 3-0 in overtime when Messis free kick went just wide. 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