Lions outlast the Carolina comeback, beat Panthers 20-19

When you watch the Fox 46 Panthers Pre-Game Show every Sunday morning, we usually hit you with a solid fact right off the top of the show. This past week’s lesson? Don’t take any opponent in the NFL lightly.

The Lions found a rhythm on the ground early, which left Carolina playing catch-up again. While special teams had a rough day, it wasn’t the biggest take away from Sunday’s 20-19 loss in Detroit.

Funchess Follies

Everyone has a bad day, it happens, but Devin Funchess had a really bad day. Only registering two catches, Funch dropped five passes, one of which was in the end zone. 

If DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel didn’t have respectable days, the Panthers might not have even gotten the 19 points they put up in Sunday’s game. Two of those drops you could question. 

In my opinion, there was one clear cut pass interference call that you could give Devin, but the others? Not so much. 

Football is a mental game and a case of the “yips” is bound to happen to even the best of players. Devin just needs to make sure it doesn’t happen again this season. He is an integral part of the success in Carolina, especially in the red zone. 

With Moore, Samuel and Jarius Wright finding success, Funchess is officially on the hot seat in Carolina.

Riverboat Ron was right to gamble

I have no problem with head coach Ron Rivera going for the win. Ask Josh Sims, you’ll get a different answer. When asked about the controversial move to go for 2-points at the end of the game instead of kicking the PAT, Rivera said, “You go for two on the road, and that’s what I did. I went for the win.” 

First off, that thinking is the new normal in the NFL. Most coaches these days are more aggressive with their play calling. It’s part of the ‘What have you done for me lately’ mentality the league is known for. 

Second, it was an easy play that should have been converted. Cam Newton will be the first one to tell you he made a bad pass. With all things considered, including two missed kicks by Graham Gano, going for two was the right call.

Tackling 101 with Professor Eric Washington

Eric Washington is going to have his hands full this week. The run defense put in a sub-par effort. You need to credit the Lions offensive line for helping add to that, but the biggest issue we saw on Sunday is the amount of missed tackles. 

The Lions tacked on a ton of yards after contact because of Panthers defense not being able to wrap up the likes of Kerryon Johnson, Kenny Golladay and Bruce Ellington. Panthers need leaders like Mario Addison and Mike Adams to step up and show some of these guys the way.

The kids are alright

There is reason to be excited for the future. That’s been evident for a few weeks now. Young players like DJ Moore and Curtis Samuel give Cam more options, but this isn’t about them. This is about why players like Bryan Cox Jr. and Marquis Haynes are exciting to watch. 

Cox and Haynes don’t get as many snaps but when they are inserted into the line-up they show promise. Both players have tons of hustle and want to be in every play. 

Sunday was only active for the second time all season this past Sunday which also left Efe Obada on the bench. All three guys have promise and the Panthers would be wise to continue to work them into the line-up. Hey, Julius Peppers isn’t going to play forever… or will he?