CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The Carolina Panthers finally put together a complete game, blowing out the punchless Minnesota Vikings to keep them winless on the road.

Stephen Davis ran for two touchdowns and Steve Smith terrorized Minnesota’s defense for a franchise-record 201 yards and a score in Carolina’s 38-13 win on Sunday.

Jake Delhomme was efficient for the Panthers (5-2), passing for 341 yards and three touchdowns while stretching Carolina’s winning streak to four games.

The Vikings dropped to 0-4 on the road this season, continuing a five-year trend for futility: Minnesota is 9-32 away from the Metrodome since October 2000.

The Vikings (2-5) showed little emotion in this one, and had no leadership after Daunte Culpepper left with a sprained right knee on the final play of the first quarter. Behind backup Brad Johnson, the Vikings had just three first downs and 76 total yards while allowing the Panthers to build a 24-0 lead at halftime.

The Vikings could have turned to defensive leader Fred Smoot for a pep talk, but the cornerback spent most of the game being humiliated by Smith.

Smith embarrassed Smoot on two quick plays in the third quarter, juking past him at the line of scrimmage to make a one-handed leaning grab for a 24-yard gain. One play later, Smith ran past Smoot on a sideline hitch for 11 yards that left Smoot face down on the grass.

When Smith was done, he had 11 catches and had broken the franchise single-game record of 192 yards, set by Muhsin Muhammad in 1998.

Smoot, meanwhile, accounted for four of Minnesota’s 10 penalties – including a holding call in the fourth quarter that negated a fumble recovery by the Vikings. His head hanging, Smoot walked off the field midway through the fourth quarter with a right shoulder sprain.

Delhomme finished 21-for-30 before giving way to Chris Weinke with 5 minutes left in the game.

Delhomme used eight different receivers, opening up Carolina’s passing game beyond Smith for the first time this season. More importantly, Delhomme was mistake free for the first time this season. He came into the game with eight interceptions, third most in the NFL.

It was an important win for the Panthers, who have failed to impress this season despite lofty expectations. Before this victory, Carolina either needed a game-winning final drive or defensive stop in three of their wins.

The Panthers had also fallen into a pattern of playing to the level of their competition, leading to struggles against mediocre teams like Detroit, Arizona and Green Bay.

The lone area Carolina didn’t excel at was the running game. Despite Davis’ two scores, he and DeShaun Foster combined for just 91 yards.

AP-ES-10-30-05 1614EST


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