4 Carolina Panthers players who exceeded expectations vs. Lions

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Jermaine Carter /
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Carolina Panthers
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Which Carolina Panthers players exceeded expectations vs. the Lions?

The sign of a good team is rising to the occasion when the chips are down. This is also an indication of character and something the Carolina Panthers showed in no uncertain terms during their dominant 20-0 victory over the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium.

Matt Rhule won’t let his team quit. The Carolina Panthers might be a lot better than their 4-7 record suggests and they showed significant improvements on both sides of the ball to secure a rare shut-out win that snaps a five-game losing run and gets the pendulum swinging in a positive direction once again.

Everything feels better after a win, right?

Building on this will be the next step, which the Panthers can do by beating a Minnesota Vikings team that suffered a shock loss at home to the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday that was a crippling blow to their faint playoff hopes. Mike Zimmer’s men can ill-afford another slip-up and there are some areas of their defense that can be exploited by Carolina.

For now, here are four Panthers players that exceeded expectations during their eye-catching success in Week 11.

Player No. 1

P.J. Walker
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) P.J. Walker /

P.J. Walker – Carolina Panthers QB

P.J. Walker has the spotlight on him for the first time as an NFL starter after Rhule decided not to risk Teddy Bridgewater. The former XFL star waited a long time for this moment and his level of production was highly encouraging.

Walker looked composed in the pocket and had no trouble getting on the move to make a difference when certain plays weren’t developing as expected. He was largely accurate in his distribution and although the signal-caller would undoubtedly like to have those two red-zone interceptions back, this is better than even the Panthers probably hoped for in Bridgewater’s absence.