The Vikings got off to a promising start on their opening possession of the game as Matt Cassel continued where he left off two weeks ago and move them downfield. However, this was soon stopped when he overthrew his receiver and was intercepted by Panthers safety Mike Mitchell for 24 yards.
Ron Rivera's side made the most of this turnover as quarterback Cam Newton moved the downfield with two conversions on fourth down, with the second resulting in a touchdown from Steve Smith as Newton found him in the end zone on a crossing route for a two-yard strike.
The Panther extended their lead when Newton orchestrated another touchdown drive. This time he faked running the ball himself and then tossed it inside to running back Mike Tolbert, who ran through two tackles to reach the end zone on a 10-yard strike.
After the break, the Panther extended their lead as Newton brought the Vikings defense up with a play-action pass and looped his throw over the top of them to Brandon LaFell, who ran the ball in 79 yards for the touchdown.
Matters got even worse for the Vikings minutes later when the visitors moved their lead to 25 points when Newton looked to be going down for a sack in the red zone, but he managed to stay on his feet and ran seven yards for the score himself.
The home side tried to get back in the game and get some points on the board in the fourth quarter. but Cassel threw his second interception of the game into the hands of Mitchell.
That set up another scoring drive for the Panthers as Tolbert ran in from a yard for his second score of the game.
The Vikings got a consolation touchdown when Cassel hit Kyle Rudolph on an out route and he powered into the end zone from 23 yards out, but it was too little too late for his side.