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Eric Kendricks: The Vikings defense has regressed over the past two weeks, including allowing 374 yards of total offense to the Panthers on Sunday. But Kendricks has stepped up at key times all season. He did it again Sunday with an interception in the red zone to stop a second-quarter Carolina drive that looked destined to end with points of some kind. Kendricks also made the tackle of Carolina running back Mike Davis on the first play after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. He led the team in tackles, too, with 12. It was his sixth game with 10 or more tackles and the seventh time he’s led the team in tackles this season. — Jason Feldman

Pass catching depth: My biggest question heading into the game is how Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense would move the ball without Adam Thielen (and, to a lesser extent, Irv Smith Jr.) in the lineup. Many hands make light work, and Cousins distributed targets that would normally go to Thielen across his receiving corps. Justin Jefferson found the end zone twice, Kyle Rudolph had his biggest game in nearly two years and Bisi Johnson and Chad Beebe set career highs in receptions and yards. Kudos across the board. — Robb Jeffries

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Vikings pass rush: This team really, really has struggled to assert its will against opposing passers in 2020, and Sunday's game may have been its worst effort. The Vikings failed to register a sack, and Teddy Bridgewater was able to make key scrambles to keep Carolina drives alive. Luckily, the continued development of Minnesota's secondary continued — and Bridgewater underperformed — so the damage wasn't fatal. — Jeffries

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Vikings offensive line: Just as the line looked like it had turned a corner, it has taken a step back over the past two games. It hurt to not have Ezra Cleveland in the lineup Sunday — he’s an obvious upgrade from Brett Jones — but he’s not the glue that holds the line together. For a second straight week, Cousins was constantly having to move in and out of the pocket. He got leveled on the early third-quarter fumble that resulted in a go-ahead TD for Carolina, then Dalvin Cook was stood up and swarmed by the Panthers’ defense on the next play. Cook and Cousins both need time and protection to do their jobs, and the Vikings will only go as far as their line takes them. — Feldman