Skip to main content
Carolina Panthers

Know Your Foe: Detroit Lions

David Montgomery

CHARLOTTE – The Panthers are back on the road for Week 5 to take on the top team in the NFC North.

Carolina (0-4, 0-2 NFC South) travels to face the Detroit Lions (3-1, 1-0 NFC North) at Ford Field on Sunday for a 1 p.m. game. The matchup will be televised on FOX.

The Panthers are 8-4 all-time against the Lions, including a 2-2 record at Detroit. Carolina won its most recent regular-season matchup last December in Charlotte, 37-23, and fell to the Lions in this year's preseason finale, 26-17, also at Bank of America Stadium.

Here's what to know about the Lions:

Strong win at Green Bay

The Lions have risen to the top of their division after a dominant 34-20 win at Green Bay on Thursday Night Football behind a strong offensive effort and stingy defense.

They totaled 401 yards of total offense against Green Bay, putting up 211 on the ground led by running back David Montgomery's three-touchdown night behind 121 rush yards. Quarterback Jared Goff completed 19 of his 28 passes for 210 yards, one touchdown, and one interception, taking two sacks.

The Lions' defense gave Green Bay quarterback Jordan Love a challenge, as he threw two interceptions to Detroit cornerback Jerry Jacobs and was sacked five times. Second-year defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was credited for 1.5 of those sacks, along with three quarterback hits on the night.

"Our defense continues to play well," head coach Dan Campbell said in an article posted to the team's website. "I thought they were a force (at Green Bay)."

Jared Goff

High-power offense

The Lions boast a top-10 offense in points scored (106–eighth), total yards (1,545–eighth), passing yards (999–ninth), and rushing yards (546–10th) through the first four weeks of the season.

Goff has taken just five sacks this season while completing 69.5 percent of his passes with six touchdowns and three interceptions. He has found wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown 26 times for 331 yards and two touchdowns this year, while rookie tight end Sam LaPorta has added 22 receptions for 242 yards this season, the second-most receiving yards on the roster. LaPorta also set a new NFL record for the most receptions and receiving yards by a tight end through their first four career games.

The Lions' smallest offensive output of the year still saw them putting up 358 total yards and 20 points in a Week 3 game against Atlanta, which they won 20-6. They totaled 418 yards of total offense, including 316 yards in the passing game, in their lone loss of the season, falling 37-31 to Seattle in overtime.

Detroit will also return wide receiver Jameson Williams this week as he has been reinstated after he was suspended for the first four games due to violating the NFL's gambling policy. Williams has appeared in six games but has only one career catch, which was a 41-yard touchdown reception last season.

Jordan Love, Aidan Hutchinson

Looking at the defense

The Lions' defense has held opponents to an NFL-best 243 rushing yards, and no team (Kansas City, Seattle, Atlanta, or Green Bay) has eclipsed 90 yards against them this season.

They have allowed opponents 879 passing yards, which stands at 18th in the league.

Jacobs and Brian Branch are Detroit's leading tacklers at 25 each. Branch is off to a strong start in his rookie year, with three tackles for loss and a 50-yard interception under his belt in his first four games. Branch is dealing with an ankle injury after the Green Bay game, so his availability will be monitored throughout the Lions' week of practice.

Hutchinson leads the Lions with 3.5 sacks this season, along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Carolina leads the all-time series with Detroit, 7-3.