The Minnesota Vikings were desperate for a victory and rookie Christian Ponder delivered, with a little help from NFL-leading rusher Adrian Peterson.
Ponder won his matchup with fellow rookie Cam Newton, throwing for 236 yards and a touchdown to lift the Vikings to a 24-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Peterson had 162 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns as Minnesota (2-6) snapped a two-game losing streak.
''This is something for the team to continue to build off of,'' Peterson said. ''That was our goal: to come in and get this one, and have some time to relax during the bye week. We'll have some time for guys to recover, and then come back focused. It would have been rough going in 1-7, so it was great to get the win.''
Ponder showed tremendous poise in the pocket, particularly on third downs.
He engineered a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter leading to Ryan Longwell's 31-yard field goal. The Panthers had a chance to tie the game with 26 secon...