4 big improvements made by the Panthers in win vs. Lions

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns /


Getting sustained pressure in opposing backfields has been a real problem for the Carolina Panthers this season. This has allowed quarterbacks to pick apart their soft coverage scheme at will and generated just 10 sacks before their game against the Lions.

To say they were improved in this critical statistic would be something of an understatement. The Panthers were absolutely relentless getting after Matthew Stafford which clearly had a positive impact on every other level of their defense.

Leading the way was obviously Brian Burns. The second-year defensive end is emerging into a real star and Detroit’s edge protection was no match for his elite explosiveness and ability to get to the point of attack quickly.

Another who enjoyed a phenomenal afternoon was Efe Obada. The lineman was utilized plenty by defensive coordinator Phil Snow on the interior during pass-rushing situations and this proved to be a shrewd move by the coach.

Obada’s physicality was too much for the Lions and contributed significantly to the Panthers getting 11 quarterback hits throughout the contest. Hopefully, this is a trend that can continue as down the stretch and they’ll get another chance to make a big impression against the Minnesota Vikings’ suspect interior protection in Week 12.