4 critical observations from the Panthers’ dominant win vs. Lions

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Steve Wilks /
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What were some critical observations to evolve from a dominant Carolina Panthers performance against the Detroit Lions in Week 16?

It’s hard to believe this was the same Carolina Panthers team we saw against the Pittsburgh Steelers. After managing a measly 21 rushing yards in Week 15, the offensive unit made up for that and then some on Christmas Eve, accumulating an incredible 320 yards on the ground while holding Detroit Lions to just 45 yards to dominate Dan Campbell’s team.

On the back of what transpired versus Pittsburgh and a short week, this was going to be a tough ask against arguably the NFL’s red-hot team. But one thing that can be said about the Panthers under Steve Wilks is they almost always bounce back after a bad showing.

The Panthers put together arguably their most complete performance of the David Tepper era. The 320 rushing yards amassed and the 570 total both broke franchise records in what was an exceptional display against a Lions team that had made serious strides on defense in recent weeks.

Carolina’s offensive line that was bullied by Pittsburgh responded by mauling a Lions defensive line led by a potential NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate Aidan Hutchinson. The win moves the Panthers to 6-9 on the season and with two divisional games to end the campaign, if they win out then a home playoff game will be coming to Charlotte for the first time since the 2015 NFC Championship game.

Without further ado, let’s break down four critical observations from the Christmas feast over the Lions.