Carolina Panthers Dethrone Detroit Lions 24-7


The Carolina Panthers won their home opener yesterday against the Detroit Lions 24-7. It was a great display by the Panthers defense with just enough Cam Newton to win the game. The Panthers got two second quarter field goals to lead the first half 6-0. The Lions got their first score in the third quarter to make the score 7-6. From there on out a combination of Cam Newton and turnovers brought the victory to Carolina.

Graham Gano kicked a field goal with about four minutes left to go in the game to close out any chance of a Lions comeback. Again, any time you can hold the Lions to 7 points is a good day to be a defense.

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1.Greg Hardy was not there

Hardy was deactivated before the game by the Panthers. This was likely done in response to the Ray Rice situation, Hardy’s own issues, and the Vikings having deactivated Adrian Peterson after his arrest became public. Coach Rivera said that the move was in the best interest of the team in interviews after the game.

Sep 14, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) reacts after a sack during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Bank of America Stadium. Carolina defeated Detroit 24-7. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

2.And you know what? It didn’t matter…

With Hardy out, the second line defensive ends saw more time. That would be Kony Ealy, and more significantly, Mario Addison. Addison had 2.5 sacks in the game as the Panthers line harassed Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford throughout the game.

3.Neither did Calvin Johnson

Despite my claims that Johnson would have a good day regardless of outcome, Johnson really became a non-factor over the course of the game. He saw double coverage throughout the game and was held to six catches for 83 yards. Stafford grew increasingly frustrated and by the end of the game was trying to force the ball. That led to a Panthers interception that ended the Lions’ hopes.

4.Welcome Back Cam

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton enjoyed an efficient game that featured few mistakes. With the running game not doing much, Newton spread the ball around to his receivers. Greg Olsen was the leading receiver, but Jason Avant caught the only touchdown pass that Cam threw. Cotchery and Benjamin also got their share of looks. Newton finished the game victorious and not injured. His final stat line was 22 of 34 for 281 yards and a 65% completion percentage.

5.The Panthers secondary hasn’t been broke yet

This is partially because the Panthers line has been so good, but the Panthers secondary has played well the first two weeks. Melvin White got an interception, but there were contributors all over the place. This would include rookie Bene Benwikere, who had a pass breakup.

The Panthers play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night in Charlotte this week in a matchup that looked pretty favorable if the Steelers bring the team that played the Ravens last Thursday Night.

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