10 quick thoughts from the Panthers win vs. Lions in Week 16

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr.
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Terrace Marshall Jr. /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) D’Onta Foreman /

Carolina Panthers’ run game was phenomenal

Gaining just 21 yards on the ground was always a recipe for disaster last weekend. Something that made the Carolina Panthers’ rushing attack highly motivated to put things right in Week 16.

Carolina’s run game was nothing short of outstanding – particularly in the first half – ending the contest with 321 rushing yards. This was a remarkable effort and one that has become synonymous with Steve Wilks’ ethos since replacing Matt Rhule.

Carolina Panthers put in a complete performance

There have been some impressive performances for the Panthers under Wilks, but this was arguably the most complete. Every phase of play was right at the top of their game from the outset, which led to Carolina overwhelming the Detroit Lions en route to a convincing success.

The sign of good coaching is how you respond in the face of adversity. And even though the Panthers have suffered a heavy defeat or two with Wilks calling the shots, they always come out swinging straight after.

Sam Darnold was polished once again

This was the fourth-straight game where the Panthers got a polished display from Sam Darnold. The quarterback looks like a completely different player since returning to the starting lineup and his newfound confidence is something that’s benefitting Carolina enormously.

Darnold completed 68.18 percent of his passes for 250 yards, one touchdown, and a passer rating of 121.5. More importantly, mistakes were kept to a minimum for the fourth-straight week and if he can do the same at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, anything is possible.