The Vikings have gotten their first ever victory in Charlotte. And they can thank Olindo Mare for it.
Mare shanked a 31-yard field goal attempt late in regulation, sending the kick from the right hashmark just to the outside of the left upright.
After falling behind 21-14 in the second half, the Vikings forced another tie via a nine-yard touchdown run from Adrian Peterson, a spinning, determined steamroll to the end zone for Peterson’s second score of the day.
The Vikings then took the lead, 24-21, on a 31-yard field goal that capped a 13 play drive.
The Panthers got it back after the three-pointer with 2:17 to play, and Cam Newton led that Panthers down the field, an effort highlighted by an impressive 44-yard catch and run to Brandon LaFell on fourth down and 15.
A run on third and three from the Minnesota 14 by Newton took the ball to the Vikings’ eight. But a holding penalty on Steve Smith brought the thing back — and Newton failed to convert on third and seven, setting up the 31-yard kick that should have forced overtime, but didn’t.
The Vikings and Panthers are each 2-6.