The Detroit Lions lost to the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24-7. Detroit, who blew out the New York Giants on Monday night, could not get anything going on offense all game. A week removed from their strong offensive performance, they looked like a team who just could not get going. The defense of the Lions played well throughout the first half, but ultimately they could not keep it going in the second half when the offense failed. The game was close throughout the first half with Detroit kicker Nate Freese missing two field goal attempts. The Panthers kicker Graham Gano made both of his leading to a 6-0 halftime score.
The second half was not much better as the Lions struggled with turnovers. Matthew Stafford forced a pass to a double covered Calvin Johnson which was picked off. Jeremy Ross got a rare kick return opportunity that looked like it would net the team good field position but ultimately he could not hold onto the ball and gave it right back to the Panthers with good field position.
The second half of the game also exposed what the Lions feared when Corey Hilliard and LaAdrian Waddle suffered their injuries. The offensive line crumbled, giving the Panthers a plethora of sacks. With their issues in the secondary, they did not need to battle against themselves with poor kicking and poor blocking. Ultimately though, the Detroit Lions lost this game on offense. Had the offense moved the ball the way they can, the defense likely would not crumble the way they did at the end. It was reminiscent of the Lions team we saw for much of last season when they lost games they should have won.
With their record now 1-1 on the season, they get a home game against the Green Bay Packers where their season could really be defined early. Green Bay is looking to seize control of the division with both Detroit and Minnesota losing this week.