The Panthers (3-7) host the Lions (4-5) Sunday in Detroit's first visit to Bank of America Stadium since 2014.
The Lions are coming off a 30-27 win over Washington where Matt Prater hit a 59-yard field goal as time expired. But Detroit dropped games against Minnesota and Indianapolis in the weeks prior.
The Lions' average strength of victory (.333) is the lowest among all NFC teams not in the NFC East.
Matthew Stafford's status
Quarterback Matthew Stafford injured his thumb on his throwing hand last Sunday but didn't come out of the game.
Reports out of Detroit are optimistic since X-rays came back negative. Still, it will be worth watching Stafford's status throughout the week.
Stafford has started every game this season despite being on the COVID-19 list twice. He ranks 11th in the NFL with 2,403 passing yards, 11th with 17 passing touchdowns and 17th with a passer rating of 96.2.
Watch out for the Marvins
Marvin Jones leads all Detroit wide receivers with five receiving touchdowns and 33 catches, going for 404 yards. He could be even more important this week with Danny Amendola leaving Sunday's game with a hip injury and Kenny Golladay nursing a hip injury of his own that's caused him to miss the past two games.
But there's another Marvin in Detroit who has found success going deep. Marvin Hall is a name Panthers fans don't want to hear this weekend. He has a 73-yard touchdown and 55-yard score in the past three games and has 21.5 yards per catch in 2020.
The Lions have averaged 38.4 pass plays to 24.4 rush plays this season, so we will see if that ratio continues with the current wide receivers available.
Run defense struggles
The Lions have struggled to stop the run this year, allowing 141.6 rushing yards per game, third-worst in the NFL. Some of that average is skewed thanks to Dalvin Cook's 206-yard game for Minnesota in Week 9.
In Detroit's five losses, they've given up an average of 193.2 yards on the ground, compared to 77.0 in their four wins.
Teams that stick with the run have reaped the benefits in the second half as the Lions' rush defense goes from 60.8 yards allowed in the first half to 80.8 in the second.
Carolina leads the all-time series with Detroit, 7-3.