Special teams dominance sparks Vikings in win over Panthers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen each returned blocked punts by Minnesota for touchdowns, the fifth time in league history one team had two in the same game, and the Vikings beat Carolina, 31-13, on Sunday to hand the Panthers their sixth straight loss.

Teddy Bridgewater threw for two scores without a turnover, and Griffen had two of the four sacks by the Vikings (5-7) against Cam Newton.

Despite entering the week just a half-game out of first place in the struggling NFC South, the Panthers (3-8-1) again stumbled out of their bye. They're 0-4 under coach Ron Rivera following the annual in-season week off.

This was the seventh-coldest game in Vikings history, with a kickoff temperature of 12 degrees. They're playing outside this year for the first time since 1981.

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press

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