Tue, 19 Jan 2021

RECAP: Lions at Panthers

Detroit Lions
23 Nov 2020, 19:25 GMT+10

Tim Twentyman

The Detroit Lions were short-handed on offense Sunday and could not overcome it, falling to Carolina, 20-0. It's the first time the Lions have been shut out since Oct. 18 of 2009 against the Packers (26-0).

Playing without starting wide receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola and starting running back D'Andre Swift, Detroit struggled to move the ball with any consistency and totaled just 185 yards of offense. Carolina came into the contest ranked 22nd in the NFL in total defense (380.0) and 21st in scoring defense (27.2).

Detroit's defense wasn't much better Sunday facing a Carolina offense starting backup quarterback P.J. Walker, who was making his first career start, and playing without All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey.

The Panthers racked up 374 total yards and got touchdowns from running back Mike Davis and wide receiver Curtis Samuel, along with two field goals from Joey Slye.

Key stat: Carolina entered Sunday last in the NFL in third down defense, allowing opponents to convert better that 55 percent of the time. The Lions were just 3-for-14 on third down Sunday.

QB Comparison: Matthew Stafford was playing with an injured right thumb and could never really get anything going. He finished 18-of-33 passing for 178 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions for a 70.0 passer rating. He was sacked five times.

Walker completed 24 of his 34 passes for 258 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for a 77.8 passer rating.

Promising trend: Second-year cornerback Amani Oruwariye continues his fine play. He recorded five tackles and had an interception off Walker in the first half in the Lions' end zone that kept Carolina off the scoreboard. He also defended a pass.

Oruwariye has been Detroit's most consistent cornerback this season. Opposing passers came into Sunday completing just 47.7 percent of their passes with a 72.7 passer rating and no touchdowns allowed against Oruwariye.

Worrisome trend: The Lions dropped 14 passes coming into Sunday, which was eighth most in the NFL. Add four more to that total Sunday, bringing their season total to 18 through 10 games. Detroit had just 13 drops all of last season.

Injury report: Cornerback Jeff Okudah was down on the field for a bit in the fourth quarter. He left the game and did not return with an undisclosed injury.

Cornerback Mike Ford left the game in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return to the game.

Next week: vs. Houston (3-7)

More Detroit News

Access More

Sign up for Detroit News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!