The Panthers' defense combined for two interceptions against Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins. The Panthers held the Vikings to a 1-of-8 (13 percent) conversion rate on third down. The Panthers ran 68 offensive plays compared to Minnesota's 44.
Safety Sam Franklin Jr. returned an interception 99 yards for a touchdown. Franklin's interception was the first of his career. It was also the first pick-six for the Panthers since cornerback Donte Jackson in Week 6 of the 2022 season against the Los Angeles Rams. Franklin's 99-yard return for a touchdown is the longest interception returned for a touchdown in franchise history, breaking Tim McKyer's previous record of 96 yards set in Week 10 of the 1995 season against the San Francisco 49ers. The return of 99 yards is also the longest interception return in the NFL this season and the longest since Week 2 of the 2022 season when Kansas City Chiefs CB Jaylen Watson returned a 99-yard interception against the Los Angeles Chargers. With Franklin's pick six, the Panthers have recorded three straight games with a defensive/special teams touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings. The Panthers have now recorded an interception in three consecutive games for the first time since Weeks 8-10 in 2021. The Panthers' 130 interception return yards set a franchise single-game record and is the most in the NFL since Week 9 of 2021 when the Cleveland Browns recorded 130 interception yards against Cincinnati. As time expired in the first half, kicker Eddy Piñeiro split the uprights with a career-long 56-yard field goal to put the Panthers up 13-7. It was the longest by a Panthers kicker since Zane Gonzalez's 57-yard field goal in Week 8 of the 2021 season against the Atlanta Falcons. Outside linebacker Yetur Gross-Matos recorded a sack in the third quarter. Gross-Matos now has at least half a sack in each of his last three games, the longest such streak of his career. Wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. recorded a career-high nine receptions on the day, eclipsing his previous career high (five) set last week against the Seattle Seahawks. Wide receiver Adam Thielen finished with 76 yards on seven receptions, marking his second consecutive game with at least 75 receiving yards for the first time since Weeks 6 and 8 of the 2021 season (bye Week 7). Quarterback Bryce Young finished the game 25-for-32 for 204 yards. His 78.1 completion percentage is the highest by a Panthers quarterback since Teddy Bridgewater went 22-for-28 (78.6 percent) against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3 of the 2020 season. Safety Jeremy Chinn had six tackles, a sack, and a quarterback hit against the Vikings.
Sam Franklin Jr. - Longest Interception Return: Set team record for the longest interception return, picking off a pass by quarterback Kirk Cousins and returning it 99 yards for a touchdown versus Minnesota (10/1/23)...Bettered the previous record of 97 yards by Julius Peppers at Denver (10/10/04). Sam Franklin Jr. - Interception Return Yards, Game: Totaled 99 interception return yards versus Minnesota (10/1/23)...Marked the second most interception return yards in team history...Team record is 101 interception return yards by Chris Gamble at Tampa Bay (11/6/05). Eddy Pineiro - Longest Field Goal: Kicked a 56-yard field goal versus Minnesota (10/1/23)...Equaled the third-longest field goal in team history, previously accomplished by John Kasay versus Green Bay (9/27/98) and Joey Slye versus Detroit (11/22/20)...Team record is 63 yards by Graham Gano versus the New York Giants (10/7/18) followed by a 57-yarder by Zane Gonzalez at Atlanta (10/31/21). Bryce Young - Consecutive Completions: Set team record with 18 consecutive completions versus Minnesota (10/1/23)...Bettered the previous record of 16 consecutive completions by Cam Newtonat Detroit - last 2 passes (11/18/18) and versus Seattle - first 14 passes (11/25/18).