Quick Take: Panthers (2-0) at Vikings (0-2)

Last meeting
Two years ago, the Vikings defeated the Panthers 16-13 in overtime. Ryan Longwell became the second player in league history to pass for the tying touchdown and kick the winning field goal in the same game.

The Panthers have beaten the Vikings three out of the last four times, but Minnesota holds the edge in the overall series, 4-3.

Last week
The Panthers defeated the Bears, 20-17, completing their second come-from-behind victory in as many weeks. ... Up 15-0, the Vikings collapsed and wound up losing to the Colts, 18-15, on Adam Vinatieri's 47-yard field goal as time expired.

Keep your eye on ...
The return of Steve Smith: Carolina's star receiver makes his season debut after serving a two-game suspension for punching teammate Ken Lucas during training camp. The Panthers have won two games without him and QB Jake Delhomme looks forward to having his favorite target to test Minnesota's 24th-ranked pass defense.

Julius Peppers' sack drought: The three-time Pro Bowler and Carolina's all-time leader in sacks (56) hasn't recorded one since Week 11 last year. It might be time for a breakout game; against the Vikings in '06, Peppers brought down the quarterback three times.

Gus Frerotte without a clipboardr: Coach Brad Childress named the 15-year veteran the starter on Wednesday after two lackluster performances by Tarvaris Jackson. Last week, Minnesota crossed into Colts territory on five straight possessions, only to come away with six points. Frerotte, a career journeyman, will make his 83rd career start in the NFL.

Did you know?
The Panthers aim for their first 3-0 start since 2003, when the club won the division and advanced to Super Bowl XXXVIII. ... Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is averaging a league-best 100.3 rushing yards per game since entering the NFL in 2007. ... In his last start vs. Minnesota, Delhomme completed 21 of 30 passes for 341 yards with three TDs for a 141.1 rating, the second-highest mark in his career.

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