One of these days the Detroit Lions have to win a game. Right? While the 0-9 Lions are still in search of that elusive first win, it’s going to be tough to come by this weekend when the team travels to Carolina to take on the NFC South leading Panthers, who are 7-2 and have yet to lose a home game at Bank of America Stadium in 2008.
Last week the Panthers didn’t play very well, but they were playing the Raiders, so to be honest, they really didn’t need to play all that well, and were able to win 17-6. Jake Delhomme was terrible vs Oakland, throwing 7-for-27 passing for 72 yards, one TD and four picks. Let’s just say that the defense bailed the Panthers out of this one.
For the Lions, it was the same old story vs the Jags last week. The team showed some spark early with Daunte Culpepper at QB, but by the time it was all said and done, the team was beaten soundly at home 38-14. The Lions are giving up an unreal 406.1 yards per game, and have lost their first nine games by an average of two touchdowns.
Culpepper gave them a fast start last week, so they are going to give him another shot this week. He should look to do a lot of running with the Panthers D chasing him all day, and will hope to get another good game from rookie back Kevin Smith, who ran for a career high 96 yards last week in the loss.
The Panthers on offense will hope that Delhomme and the passing game can get back on track, and there is no reason to believe it won’t. Look for the veteran QB to put last week behind him quickly, and the Panthers to do what they want against an awful Lions team that is starting to hear whispers about not winning a game.
They also should do what they want on defense, and will be able to stop Culpepper and Smith without much of a fight. Calvin Johnson is one player that can take advantage of the Panthers D, but he’s just one player and he won’t be able to do enough.
In the end, look for the Panthers to be able to pile it on, put up between 24-34 points, and be able to move to 8-2 on the season as they continue to try and make sure they are in the mix for that #2 seed in the NFC once the playoffs start.