Like last week this "should" be an easy win. I fully expect Delhomme and the offense to bounce back. I agree with Revshawn that the Lions are in desperate shape believing that QB Daunte Culpepper would be their future quarterback. However, this is the type of game I really don't like. Our defense coming off a great game and then add to that a QB that is coming off the bench, so to speak. One of the things I dislike the most in the NFL is facing an "unknown" QB.
I don't have complete stats on the topic plus they probably don't justify the worry, but look at these two games Carolina has played the last two years. Last year when we were desperate for a QB and signed retired Vinny Testaverde. He was signed and less than a week later lead the Panthers to a win over the Arizona Cardinals. Then this year during week 3, Gus Frerotte stepped in for the Vikings and lead their team to a win.This would be the first key match-up for our defense.
Detriots QB Daunte Culpepper vs Panthers Secondary.
The Lions are ranked 22th in passing offense. However, they've been through several QB. with Culpepper behind center we don't know what to expect. What we do know is that while he doesn't have both Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson to throw to he does have Calvin Johnson. This is the second key match-up.
Lions WR Calvin Johnson vs Panthers CB Ken Lucas/S Charles Godfrey
Calvin Johnson is the type of receiver that can just make the plays. Some say that if he had the right QB throwing to him, he could be as dangerous as Randy Moss was last year, and those people are probably right. He's 6' 5" and 239 lbs, a force on the field. Lucas should have plenty of opportunities at the ball and may be looking for a few interceptions. However, Calvin Johnson's success all depends upon Culpepper able to get him the ball and unfortunately for him, the Lions have allowed 34 sacks this season, that's 3.78 per game. Our third key match-up
Lions Offensive line vs Panthers Defensive Line
Last week the Panther DL had a field day and provided the defense isn't just worn down, they could see another big day. On a positive note for the Lions. despite all their listed injuries, 14 in total (according to NFL.com), only one is to their offensive line, C Dominic Raiola. Despite this, as I mentioned before, the Lions have allowed the most sacks in the NFL this season. If at least one of our defensive lineman doesn't record multiple sacks today I will be disappointed, and I wouldn't be surprised if at least two get multiple sacks.
Last like week this game worries me a bit, but I am also approaching this game with guarded optimism again. However, probably with a little less than last week. The reason for this is because of how we won the last game. As I said earlier this week, it would be quite hard to get to high on ourselves this week. However, since we know we are a better team than last week, I feel confident we should win this game.
My family is actually at my parents house this weekend with the rest of my siblings actually celebrating Thanksgiving early. It's only fitting that we get to watch the Lions play.
Prediction: Panthers 31, Lions 9