MINNEAPOLIS -- All Josh Robinson had to do was turn his hips and sprint.
With the Vikings in prime position to reverse course following a dismal first half, the second-year cornerback lined up less than a yard off the line against Carolina, which faced third-and-3 from its own 21-yard line. Robinson stayed stride-for-stride with slot man Brandon LaFell into the right flat, Minnesota's defensive ends formed a tight containment umbrella, and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton suddenly had nowhere to go.
Then suddenly, inexplicably, Robinson stopped. LaFell turned down the right sideline, hauled in a perfectly-placed ball from Newton and scampered 79 yards, untouched. Panthers wide out Ted Ginn Jr. clocked Xavier Rhodes with an open-field block on the play, freeing up LaFell to trot into the end zone and blow a kiss to the disgruntled home fans seated behind it.
It was a zone coverage designed to limit a short gain. But Robinson said he was responsible for anybody that went deep on...