5 winners and losers from the Carolina Panthers defeat at Lions in Week 5

Not many covered themselves in glory...
Laviska Shenault Jr.
Laviska Shenault Jr. / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 5

Winner No. 1

Adam Thielen - Carolina Panthers WR

There aren't many Carolina Panthers players or coaches covering themselves in glory these days. Not entirely unsurprising when one considers the team's current form, but one or two continue to provide some semblance of positivity while all around them crumbles.

Adam Thielen fits into this bracket. His experience and ability to create separation through outstanding route-running remain an asset for rookie quarterback Bryce Young, which was evident throughout another fine mess overall for the Panthers in Week 5.

Thielen isn't going to blow any team away with exceptional speed. That's never been his game and certainly won't change at 33 years old, but his reliability is something sorely lacking from younger pass-catchers who came into the campaign with breakout potential.

Even though this game got away from the Panthers quickly, Thielen refused to throw in the towel. He gave everything right until the end, which cannot be said of most on the field as Carolina capitulated in the face of high-quality opposition.

The former undrafted free agent out of Minnesota State brought in 11 receptions from 13 targets for 107 receiving yards and one touchdown. Thielen now has 394 yards and three scores through five games, which makes him the Panthers' most productive pass-catching presence by a considerable margin.

Thielen should be commended for his performances. However, having an aging presence as Carolina's undisputed WR1 is a damning indictment on recruitment and personnel evaluation.