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Panthers 20 Lions 0: Carolina’s defense shines in shutout win over Detroit

The Panthers picked up their first shutout win since 2015 when they blanked the Lions 20-0 in Week 11.

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The Panthers certainly had the deck stacked against them when this game started after it was announced that Teddy Bridgewater would not be activated for the game and P.J. Walker would get his first career NFL start. The Panthers ignored the odds and came out strong against the Lions with a first quarter touchdown to take a lead they would never relinquish.

The defense played well throughout the entire game and earned the team’s first shutout since their 38-0 win over the Falcons back in 2015. Matthew Stafford was sacked five times, and the defense took advantage of several back breaking mistakes by Detroit to complete the victory.

P.J. Walker threw two interceptions in the end zone and the Panthers still won this game 20-0. I really don’t know what else to say about this other than it was certainly an unexpected result that I’m glad we got to witness. I think it’s safe to say that Teddy Bridgewater isn’t in any immediate danger of losing his job, but at the same time Walker looked pretty good for the most part (aside from those two interceptions, of course).

I don’t know how many more games we’ll get to see like this one, but I do know that it was fun while it lasted. Hopefully the Panthers can use this game as a confidence builder as they take on the Vikings next week.

Fourth quarter: Panthers 20 Lions 0

The Panthers forced the Lions to try a 51-yard field goal but Matt Prater was unable to convert and the defense maintained their shut out with 14:08 left in the game.

The offense took over and started moving the ball right away as DJ Moore shifted and spun around the Lions defense for a 21-yard run to set the Panthers up deep in Lions territory. A few plays later and they were looking at a first-and-goal at the Lions 9-yard line. Unfortunately Walker threw another interception in the end zone and the Panthers walked away with no points.

The defense didn’t allow the Lions to take advantage and the offense took over after a failed fourth-and-20 conversion attempt by the Lions. The Panthers gave themselves good field position with a chance to put this game to bed with just over six minutes left. The Panthers caught a break on fourth-and-12 when the Lions committed a running into the kicker penalty after a missed field goal by Slye. The penalty gave him a second shot at making the kick, which was good and gave the Panthers a 20-0 lead with 4:57 left in the game.

The defense did their job again on the Lions next drive and forced another turnover on downs to keep the shutout alive. The Panthers had the ball at the two minute warning with a chance to run out the remainder of the remaining clock.

Third quarter: Panthers 17 Lions 0

The Panthers started the second half on defense after taking the opening kickoff in the first half. The defense did their jobs by forcing the Lions to go three-and-out to start the half after only giving up five yards.

The Panthers took over on offense and drove down the field with relative ease and ended the drive when Walker found Curtis Samuel wide open in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown to extend the lead to two scores. The extra point was good and the Panthers took a 14-0 lead with 10:58 left in the quarter.

The defense forced another punt on Detroit’s next possession after getting bailed out on an illegal formation penalty that wiped out a Marvin Jones touchdown and the offense took back over with 7:32 left in the quarter.

The Panthers weren’t able to find the end zone on their next drive but they did manage to extend their lead when Joey Slye nailed a 56-yard field goal to make it a 17-0 game with 1:59 left in the quarter.

The Lions took over on offense but were unable to do anything before the quarter ended.

Second quarter: Panthers 7 Lions 0

The Panthers were unable to take advantage of the turnover after Walker threw an interception in the end zone on third-and-goal. The defense did their job and forced the Lions to punt thanks to Brian Burns, who just missed what would have been a pick six when he sniffed out a swing pass on third-and-5 to prevent the Walker interception from being too damaging for Carolina.

The Panthers avoided disaster on their first play after the punt when Dennis Daley jumped on a Rodney Smith fumble. The Panthers were unable to pick up a first down and had to punt the ball back to the Lions after three failed plays in a row.

The defense did their job again and forced another Lions punt after a TJ Hockenson drop on third down and took over on their own 10-yard line after another good punt from Jack Fox. Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t get anything going after picking up one first down and had to punt the ball back to Detroit.

The defense once again came through and forced another punt, and the offense had the ball back with two timeouts and two minutes left in the half to try and extend their lead. The drive was cut short when Michael Schofield committed an illegal hands to the face penalty that negated a first down run by Walker and instead set up second-and-20 with less than a minute to go in the half. The Panthers were unable to pick up a first down and had to punt the ball back to the Lions. Fortunately for the Panthers there were only five seconds left in the half when the Lions took over. A Matthew Stafford kneel down ended the half with the Panthers up by a touchdown.

First quarter: Panthers 7 Lions 0

The Panthers started the game on offense with P.J. Walker under center. The Panthers were able to move the ball a bit but couldn’t put points on the scoreboard after having to punt from midfield.

The defense did a good job of getting off the field after forcing the Lions to punt, but the special teams unit committed a holding penalty on the punt return and had to start deep in their own territory for their second drive.

The Panthers drove down the field on their second drive and were set up well when P.J. Walker found DJ Moore for a 52-yard strike. Mike Davis punched it in from the 1-yard line on third-and-goal to give the Panthers the lead. The extra point from Joey Slye was good and the Panthers took a 7-0 lead with 2:21 left in the quarter.

On the Lions next possession, the Panthers defense took advantage of a bad snap to Matthew Stafford and recovered the fumble on third down to give them a short field to work with. Two plays later and the Panthers were set up with first-and-goal as the quarter came to a close with the Panthers in front 7-0.

Game day inactives

The Panthers and Lions have revealed their inactives lists for today’s game. We already knew that running back Christian McCaffrey wouldn’t play since he was officially ruled out in Friday’s injury report.

The big news is that starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will be inactive for the Panthers today. P.J. Walker is expected to start in his absence, but we could also see Will Grier in action at some point today.

Russell Okung, John Miller and Donte Jackson are also inactive, which is probably not good for Carolina’s chances of winning this game.

On the other hand, the Panthers are catching a bit of a break today as Kenny Golladay, Danny Amendola and D’Andre Swift are all inactive for the Lions. Hopefully that tips the scales in the Panthers’ favor this afternoon.

The full inactives lists for both teams are below.

Panthers inactives

Lions inactives

The Panthers face the Lions in Week 11 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday, November 22 at 1 p.m. ET.

Game day information

What: Carolina Panthers vs Detroit Lions
When: Sunday, November 22 at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, N.C.)
TV: FOX; Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman (coverage map)
Streaming: FuboTV, FOX Sports Live, Yahoo! Sports, Panthers mobile app
Radio: Panthers radio (local); Mick Mixon
Spanish Radio: Panthers radio (local); Jaime Moreno, Antonio Ramos
Weather: 65° / Mostly Cloudy / 4 mph ENE wind / 10% rain (complete forecast)

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