Detroit Lions Week 2 Opponent Preview: Carolina Panthers


The Detroit Lions took care of businesses in week 1, having no problem with the G-men in a 35-14 win on Monday Night Football.

The Lions now head on the road for the 1st time this season and take on Cam Newton and the NFC South Champion Carolina Panthers.

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Last week the Carolina Panthers were without their QB Cam Newton against Buccaneers, Derek Anderson got the start and played well enough to get the win.

One of the biggest worries this off-season for the Panthers was seeing all starting receivers from last year’s division winning team not return this season. However, the Panthers selected in the Wide Receiver Kelvin Benjamin in the NFL Draft who impressed well enough in the pre-season to win the number 1 job for the Panthers. Last week in his NFL debut he had 6 catches and 92 yards along with an impressive touchdown grab.

Similar to the Lions Week 1 opponents the Giants, the Panthers have question marks when it comes to their offensive line, pro bowler Ryan Kalil is the only returning starter from a season ago. The group has looked very poor in the pre-season as QB Cam Newton was under constant pressure. That is the last thing the Panthers want facing this Lion front 4 which got after Eli Manning on Monday night.

They held up well against the Bucs, only giving up one sack. I like to believe the Lions have a better front 4 than the Buccaneers, so pressure on Newton will be a key for the Lions this week.

Defensively the Carolina Panthers allowed 15.6 points per game last year, their fewest since 1996. They also led the league in sacks and feature one of the leagues best defensive lines. Luke Kuechly was the NFL’s defensive player of the year last season and is going to be a problem for the Lions. If you had to pick a weak spot in this Carolina Panther’s defense it would be the secondary, they are trying to replace 3 of their 4 starters from last year.


Defensively I think the Lions get after Newton who is making his 1st start of the year, and keep pressure on him for the most part. That said, Kelvin Benjamin could have a big day against an injury weakened Lion’s defensive backfield.

It goes without saying the Lions face a better defense this time around. Carolina’s front 7 will make it very tough to run the ball. If Stafford can play half as well as he did last week and find Calvin Johnson, GoldenTate, and Reggie Bush out of the backfield the Lions should be able to produce enough offense to win.

Lions 20, Panthers 14