We said before – send a message. Did the Carolina Panthers send a message?
Did they send the right message?
Playing against a team that was 0-9 and, frankly, not very good, there’s no way they could have felt like starting the game that way was how they wanted it.
Detroit’s first drive featured a running game that was pummelling the Panthers front seven. The Lions converted three on third down and once on fourth down. The result was a 7-0 lead.
After a three and out, the Lions did it again. A third down conversion and a fourth down conversion led to a 40-yard field goal.
The right message? This was a winless team leading a 7-2 team on their home field 10-0. It’s hard to see how this performance was striking fear into the hearts of future opponents.
Things turned as Carolina earned their initial first down with just over 11:30 to go in the first half. The running game found traction and the offense put up their first touchdown.
The stars of the game were many with DeAngelo Williams and Jonthan Stewart both earning over 100 yards while Julius Peppers was setting up camp in the Lions backfield.
However, problems were abundant as Jake Delhomme started off shaky and the defense was allowing the Lions to run the ball nearly at will.
Sure, the Panthers began running and kept running until they had a victory. But allowing one of the worst teams in the league to stay in the game until late in the fourth quarter simply doesn’t warm the hearts of the Carolina faithful.
We could go on and on about the negatives in the game. Let’s just take it as a win that leaves the team at 8-2 and still alone in first place.
On a bright note – Atlanta lost on Sunday leaving them two games back while Tampa Bay beat Minnesota to help them remain only one game back.
Here are ome random thoughts from today’s game:
- If Detroit goes winless the answer at the end of the season will be one we would like to forget. The first team to allow the Lions to score on their opening drive – Carolina
- The Panthers gained a franchise single-game record 264 yards rushing today.
- After being solid for weeks, the Carolina special teams had a breakdown and Rhys Lloyd had to make a tackle to prevent a score.
- Detroit didn’t punt until there was only 6:38 to go in the third quarter.
- Detroit converted three fourth downs in the game.
- DJ Hackett was in the game just long enough to be called for holding.