Tue, 19 Jan 2021

Stats and Superlatives: Defense comes up big

Carolina Panthers
23 Nov 2020, 20:44 GMT+10

Will Bryan


The Panthers pitched their first shutout since a 38-0 win over Atlanta in Week 14 of the 2015 season. Carolina outgained Detroit, 374-185, while also doubling up the Lions in first downs, 20-10. The Panthers' defense forced a season-high six punts and held the Lions to 3-of-14 on third down for a season-best 21-percent conversion rate. Carolina entered the game with a league-worst 55.3 percent third-down defense and had forced just two punts in its last four games. The Lions never advanced past the Panthers' 33-yard line and that drive ended with a missed field goal. It marked the first time since Week 2 of 2017 (Buffalo) that Carolina did not allow a play in its red zone. The Panthers racked up a season-high five sacks and had 11 quarterback hits. It marked the most QB hits for Carolina since Week 9 of 2018 against Tampa Bay. Carolina's defense held Detroit to 40 net rushing yards, marking the second time this season (Week 9, Kansas City, 36) that the Panthers have held a team under to 40 or fewer rushing yards. The Panthers outscored the Lions, 10-0, in the third quarter. Carolina had averaged just 2.4 points in the third quarter through its first 10 games. Carolina lost the turnover battle, 2-1, thanks to two red-zone interceptions. It marked just the second time in franchise history (2006) that Carolina shut out a team while losing the turnover battle.



Quarterback P.J. Walker went 24-of-34 with 258 passing yards and a passing touchdown and two interceptions in his first career start. Wide receiver DJ Moore posted his seventh career 100-yard receiving game with seven catches for 127 yards and another 21 rushing yards. It marked his second-most receiving yards behind his 157-yard output at Detroit in 2018. Moore hauled in a 52-yard catch in the first half, his ninth 50-yard catch, the most in the NFL since 2018. Wide receiver Curtis Samuel had a game-high eight receptions for 70 receiving yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 4 yards, passing Steve Smith (387) for the most rushing yards by a wide receiver in franchise history. Running back Mike Davis rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown while adding 15 receiving yards. Davis is averaging 80.2 scrimmage yards in his eight starts this season. Defensive end Brian Burns had 2.0 sacks on five tackles with four QB hits and a pass deflection. Defensive end Efe Obada had 1.5 sacks, bringing his season total to a career-best 3.5 sacks. All of those sacks have come in the past four games. Obada had just 2.0 sacks in his first career 33 games. Defensive end Marquis Haynes had a fumble recovery, his second of the season. Safety Tre Boston tied his season-high with eight tackles, while Juston Burris had six tackles and a tackle for loss.


Quarterback Matthew Stafford had just 178 passing yards, his fewest since Week 16 of 2018. Sunday marked the first time the Lions were shut out in a game that Stafford started.

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