It is no fun to play a game in which it never appears your team had a chance. Good teams are dangerous the week after such a game. They are eager to erase the memory and reassert themselves as true playoff contenders, or at least, NFL-level competitors.
Detroit comes off a 34-22 loss to the Bears that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates.
Carolina was embarrassed on national television, 52-21 by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
You might expect both teams to come into Week 11 with a vengeance like any good team would do. But, there is only one good team among them.
Detroit seems like a team resigned to rebuild and set themselves up for next year. Fans and teammates saw a weird turn of events when the team stole one of the best defensive players in the game away from the Giants in what looked like a commitment to winning this season, but then followed up by trading away their best offensive player in what some felt was a surrender.
Regardless of what players say about the moves, their play indicates they believe the season is over. They’ve lost three games in a row, which wouldn’t be terrible except they haven’t looked very competitive in the last two.
Carolina won three in a row before the short-week debacle against the Steelers. They are determined to prove the game was a fluke and put themselves in position to meet the Steelers again in Super Bowl LIII.
Injuries and notes
Lion’s receiver Marvin Jones is listed as questionable with a knee injury but is leaning toward doubtful. Kenny Golladay would step up as the lead receiver.
Tight end Michael Roberts is also listed as questionable, along with fellow tight end Luke Wilson. Both sustained shoulder injuries last week. Roberts appears to be the more serious of the two.
Panthers’ wide receiver Torrey Smith was spotted running at practice. He is officially questionable for Sunday.
Panthers’ coach Ron Rivera has seen enough adversity over the years to know how to get his team back on track. To a man, his players seem ready to shake off last week’s performance and make sure the league knows the Panthers are a playoff team.
Matt Patricia is a smart guy, but we have yet to see if he can pull his team out of their funk. Another difficult and hard-hitting defense awaits. His defense gets to deal with Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey. Although they have been much better against the run with Damien Harrison on the field, he can’t cover from sideline to sideline himself.
How to watch the Lions-Panthers game
Fox Sports will broadcast this game to the local markets. That means fans in greater Detroit and Carolina can watch the live stream Lions-Panthers game on Fubo TV.
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Who will win the Lions-Panthers game?
Matt Patricia and Matthew Stafford have their hands full directing a subpar running attack and decimated receiving corps against the Panthers. But even the best game plan will go to waste of the players are not committed. We should see what the Lions players are made of in the weeks ahead.
This week belongs to the other cats on the field. Carolina is determined to get back on track and won’t let the Lions stand in their way.
Final score: Panthers 31, Lions 17