After the Vikings' blitzes couldn't faze Justin Herbert last week, Carolina rookie Bryce Young fell in the face of pressure from Brian Flores' defense.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith is being used differently by Brian Flores than he was last season and made big plays when his team needed him Sunday.
The Vikings survived a massive first-quarter blunder to beat the Panthers.
Vikings safety Harrison Smith had three sacks in the second half, one of which led to the game-winning points.
Edge rusher Marcus Davenport had four tackles and a third-down sack while running back Cam Akers finished with 51 yards on seven touches in his Vikings debut.
Former Vikings star wide receiver Adam Thielen caught seven passes for 76 yards, but the Panthers dropped to 0-4 for the season.
The Vikings finally got their first victory of the season — sparked by two Justin Jefferson touchdowns and a strip-sack by Harrison Smith that turned into a touchdown for D.J. Wonnum.