Panthers Lions Preview
When- October 8, 2017
Where- Ford Field Detroit, Michigan
Matchup- Carolina Panthers 3-1 vs Detroit Lions 3-1
Line- Detroit -2
After great road wins for both teams last week, the Lions and Panthers square off in Detroit this Sunday. Both teams, who are 3-1, look to secure themselves as one of the top teams in the league with a win this week. Matthew Stafford, who has struggled the past few weeks, looks to get back on track against a more than favorable matchup against a weak Panthers’ secondary.
Matthew Stafford- 88-138 887 yards 7 TDs 1 Int
Cam Newton- 73-112 882 yards 5 TDS 5 Int
Ameer Abdullah- 66 attempts 257 yard 1 TD
Johnathan Stewart- 59 attempts 230 yards
Golden Tate- 24 Recs 219 yards 1TD
Marvin Jones- 8 Recs 130 yards 2 TD
Kenny Golladay- 7 Recs 102 yards 2 TDs
Devin Funchess- 17 Recs 216 yards 2 TDs
Kelvin Benjamin- 13 Recs 214 yards
Christian McCaffery- 22 Recs 206 yards
Keys to the Game
1.Limit the Panthers on the Ground– The Panthers offense is built on rushing from the RB and QB position. Stopping the run and forcing Newton to throw the ball is always a recipe for success against them. The Panthers are a difficult team to prepare for because they are the sole NFL team that has their QB running so much in the game plan every week. Stacking the box by bringing down a safety should help the Lions control the line of scrimmage and put the pressure more on Newton’s throwing arm.
2. Pressure Cam– Whether he is rushing or dropping back to pass, the Lions need to keep constant pressure in Newton’s face. Newton has already thrown five interceptions on the year while the Lions have picked off seven of their own. Inceptions are almost always a result of pressure and hits on the QB. Last week, the Patriots were unable to get to Cam and he made them pay, passing for 318 yards and accounting for four total TDS in the victory.
3. All eyes on McCaffery– Rookie RB Christian McCaffery is off to a nice start this season running and catching the ball. Playing on a fast track at Ford Field should have the Panthers trying to get McCaffery the ball as much as possible in open space. The Lions should be prepared for him after getting a taste of a very similar back in Dalvin Cook last week.
4. Protect Stafford– The Lions have already given up 12 sacks on the year while the Panthers have recorded 11 sacks of their own. The Panthers pass defense hinges on their ability to get to the QB. Last week, Julius Peppers was able to sack Tom Brady twice while taking home the NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. Slowing down the pass rush of Peppers, Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly may ultimately decide this game.
5. Unleash Stafford– The Lions made a conscious effort last week to get the run game going against a great Vikings’ secondary. This week however, is the time for Stafford to shine and pick apart the Panthers’ defense drive after drive. Stafford could have a huge game on Sunday. The Lions gave Stafford that huge contract, let him earn it this week.
Dwayne Washington- Questionable
Kenny Golladay- Questionable
Jarrad Davis- Questionable
Paul Worrilow- Doubtful
Matt Kalil- Questionable
Kelvin Benjamin- Questionable
Kurt Coleman- Out
Came Newton- Questionable
Greg Olsen- Out
After some struggles from Matthew Stafford and the offense the past few weeks, this is the week they are going to breakout. Last week’s game against the Vikings wasn’t very pretty to watch but a big win against a division rival is what can catapult a team to the next level. I expect this team to take a giant leap forward on Sunday against the Panthers.
Lions- 42 Panthers-17
Feature Photo Credit- Detroit Lions
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