Three key matchups to watch for Panthers vs. Lions

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 08: Theo Riddick
DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 08: Theo Riddick /
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The offensive line vs. Lions’ pass rush

How will the Carolina Panthers offensive line hold up against the Detroit Lions defensive line? That will be a fun matchup to watch as the upstart Panthers line takes on an aggressive Lions defensive troop.

Currently, the Lions rank seventh in the National Football League with 29 sacks recorded on the year. Last year, they had 35 in total. It is safe to say that they have focused on the pass rush. In their last game against the Bears, they only got to quarterback Mitchell Trubisky once for a loss of seven yards. The culprit was defensive end Da’Shawn Hand. The Panthers have only given up 21 sacks on the year which is a pretty good number considering the grim outlook of the line just a few months ago.

It will be interesting to see if the Panthers line can hold up in this one. Last Thursday, the Steelers defense was able to get to Cam Newton on many occasions. Per statistics from Pro Football Focus, Newton was sacked five times and intercepted once. His 45.8 offensive grade and 44.6 passing grade were his lowest of the season. It is safe to say that the line did not do their job last week, and they cannot afford to do that Sunday against the Lions. If they fail to protect their quarterback, it could be a very long day.