The Vikings will have to wait another week to clinch the NFC North.
The Panthers were efficient with 216 rushing yards on 36 carries thanks to a great day by the offensive line.
2. Injuries are catching up to the Vikings — Minnesota started four offensive linemen who were not opening-day starters. The Vikings then lost tackle Riley Reiff early in the second half. Cornerback Xavier Rhodes was at less than 100 percent and was in and out of Sunday’s game.
3. Cam Newton hasn’t lost his MVP form — When there was nothing there, Newton made something happen. He was a magician at times against Minnesota’s vaunted defense. Newton was 13 of 25 for 137 passing yards and ran for 70 yards, including a 62-yard jaunt to set up Stewart’s game-winning end zone dive with 1:47 remaining.
The Texans quarterback was hit by 49ers linebacker Elvis Dumervil on a third-down pass during the second quarter. Savage’s head bounced off the turf and his arms then appeared to seize before he was helped to his feet by an official. The team said after the 26-16 loss that Savage did not have a seizure.
The Texans punted and Savage was quickly evaluated for a concussion on the sideline. When the Texans got the ball back after the 49ers ran six plays, Savage was under center. He threw two incomplete passes as the Texans went three-and-out. Savage was then pulled for good and T.J. Yates took over at quarterback.
Yates led a touchdown drive as the Texans trailed 13-9 at halftime.
Texans coach Bill O’Brien said following the loss that Savage “was evaluated and cleared to return, then evaluated again and not cleared.” That explanation was still insufficient to some.