After a statement win in Lambeau Field last Thursday Night, the attention has shifted for the Detroit Lions to the team that essentially kept them out of the 2022 playoffs, the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers come into Ford Field looking for their first win of the season, while the Lions look to add another win to the win column and continue their winning ways. Nothing can be taken for granted, it is the NFL after all, but you have to feel pretty good as a Lions fan heading into the week.
Perfect opportunity for the Detroit Lions
It always seems that there's a hiccup. As Lions fans, we almost expect it. It is exactly what happened last year when the team traveled to Carolina and was run off the field, giving up a total of 320 rushing yards. They lost that game and it ultimately kept them out of the playoffs. But these teams are not even teams.
Good teams beat the teams they're supposed to beat.
The Panthers have the 30th overall offense and 19th-best defense in the league, according to PFF. Meanwhile, the Lions boast of the second-best offense and the 14th-best defense, not to mention one of the better rushing defenses allowing just 60.8 rush yards per game. Things bode well for the Lions to reach 4-1 and avenge their loss from last season.
A way too early prediction for Sunday's matchup
There's no way to truly predict the game on Sunday without sounding too overconfident. But, who cares, at this point we're all drunk on Kool-Aid anyway. This shouldn't be much of a contest, especially if the Lions are able to control the line of scrimmage and get David Montgomery and Jamyr Gibbs loose. There's no reason to believe the Panthers' defense will be able to stop the Lions' run game and no reason to believe that the Lions' defense won't create havoc for Bryce Young and the Panthers.
It should be an unwelcome homecoming for D.J. Chark and the rest of the Panthers as the Lions look to continue their dominance at home in front of the best fans around. This should be a close game and both sides of the ball will dominate. A minimum of 17 points should be the differential, let's call it a 34-10 game and the Lions extend their lead in the NFC North to two games.