Vikings top Panthers in overtime

Carolina lost its third straight and squandered a late scoring drive that sent the game to OT

Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn makes the game-winning catch against Panthers safety Sean Chandler during overtime of Minnesota's 34-28 win Sunday in Charlotte. (Gerald Herbert / AP Photo)

CHARLOTTE — Viking quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn in overtime to defeat the Carolina Panthers 34-28 in Charlotte on Sunday.

Cousins’ third scoring pass of the game finished the sudden-death extra period after just over four minutes of play. The Panthers’ offense never got the ball in overtime.

Carolina rallied from 11 points down in the final seven minutes to force overtime. That included a 96-yard touchdown drive that was capped with a two-point conversion with 46 seconds left. Quarterback Sam Darnold converted two fourth downs on the 1:27 drive. Facing fourth-and-10 from his own 4-yard line, Darnold hit tight end Ian Thomas for 41 yards. He also threw a 25-yard pass on fourth-and-6 from the Minnesota 32 later in the drive.

Darnold finished the drive with a 7-yard scoring pass to Robby Anderson, then hit tight end Tommy Tremble with a shovel pass for the game-tying conversion.

Darnold’s late-game heroics helped turn around a rough afternoon for the Panthers quarterback. He was intercepted on his first pass of the game, setting up a Vikings field goal, and Darnold was frequently pressured by the Minnesota pass rush. He finished 17 of 41 for 207 yards but was 7 of 14 for 102 yards on the final two drives of the game.

“I was proud to show that type of grit and all that, but for most of the game, they outplayed us,” coach Matt Rhule said. “Offensively, we were not very good until we went to the rally mode at the end.”

Anderson had three balls bounce off his hands, and receiver D.J. Moore had a drop as well. Moore and Darnold each lost a fumble. The offense also had a 12-men on the field penalty and two delay of game flags, one when Darnold tried to call back-to-back timeouts.

“You can’t have as many drops as we had,” Rhule said. “You can’t turn the ball over three times again.”

The Panthers’ defense also struggled to contain the Vikings skill players on offense. Cousins completed 33 of 48 passes for 373 yards. Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson combined for 19 catches for 206 yards.

Running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 140 yards and a score, and Minnesota had the ball for more than 37 1/2 minutes on the day.

“They were on the field way too long,” Rhule said of the defense.

The Panthers dropped to .500 on the season at 3-3 with their second straight home loss and third loss in a row. Carolina now has back-to-back road games against losing teams with trips to the New York Giants and Atlanta Falcons.