Skip to main content

Panthers-Lions Postgame Notes

The Series: With the 49-35 victory, Detroit ended a four-game losing streak against Carolina, who leads the all-time series 4-2. The Panthers finished the year with an 0-4 mark against NFC North opponents and have an all-time record of 14-19 versus teams from the NFC North.

For Starters: Jordan Senn started for the first time in his four-year career. He opened at middle linebacker in place of Dan Connor, who was inactive with a shoulder injury. Senn became the eighth player to start at linebacker for Carolina this year, joining James Anderson, Jon Beason, Connor, Thomas Davis, Omar Gaither, Jason Williams and Thomas Williams. Offensively, tight end Ben Hartsock made his second start of the season with Jeremy Shockey inactive because of injured ribs.

Newton By Air: Rookie quarterback Cam Newton completed 22-of-38 passes for 280 yards and one touchdown with a career-high four interceptions to compile a 50.2 quarterback rating. He threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Smith in the first quarter. Newton had previously been picked off three times twice this season - versus Green Bay (9/18/11) and at Atlanta (10/16/11).

The starter in all 10 games, Newton has completed 219-of-365 passes for 2,885 yards and 12 touchdowns with 14 interceptions to register an 80.0 quarterback rating. He has passed for 300 or more yards in three games, producing three of the top four single-game passing totals in team history. Newton threw a touchdown in each of the first five games - the longest streak by a rookie quarterback in team history - bettering Chris Weinke's four consecutive games with a touchdown pass in 2001.


Newton By Ground: Rookie quarterback Cam Newton posted 37 rushing yards and two touchdowns on seven attempts. He scored on runs of 11 yards in the second quarter and six yards in the fourth quarter.

Newton established an NFL record for the most rushing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in a season since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970 with nine. He surpassed the previous mark of seven by Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans in 2006. The league record for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback is 12 by Steve Grogan of the New England Patriots in 1976.

Newton has rushed for 411 yards and a team-leading nine touchdowns on 77 carries this season. The 411 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns are the most in a season by a Panthers quarterback, eclipsing the previous highs of 128 yards and six touchdowns by Chris Weinke in 2001.


Williams Carries The Load: Running back DeAngelo Williams recorded a team-high 73 yards on 10 carries with a long of 29 yards. He leads the Panthers with 471 yards and one touchdown on 93 attempts this season.

Williams become first player in team history with 1,000 career rushing yards and 1,000 career receiving yards with a 32-yard reception in the fourth quarter. In six seasons with Carolina, he has tallied 4,682 rushing yards and 1,015 receiving yards. The only other running back in franchise history with more than 1,000 receiving yards is Brad Hoover, who finished his 10-year Panthers career with 1,046 yards receiving and 961 yards rushing.

Williams ranks as the franchise's all-time leader with 934 rushing attempts, 4,682 rushing yards, 32 rushing touchdowns, 5.01-yard rushing average and 16 games with 100 or more rushing yards.

Stewart On Receiving End: Running back Jonathan Stewart paced Carolina with six catches and 87 receiving yards and added eight carries for 22 yards. He is tied for third on the team with a career-high 33 catches for 329 yards and ranks third with 372 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 83 attempts.

The fourth-year running back is second in team history with 24 rushing touchdowns, 4.67-yard rushing average and nine games with 100 or more rushing yards. Stewart also stands third with 666 rushing attempts and 3,111 rushing yards (needs 226 yards to pass DeShaun Foster for the second most in team history).

Streaking: Wide receiver Steve Smith, who finished with five receptions for 41 yards, extended his consecutive games streak with a catch to 69 - the second-longest streak in team history behind Wesley Walls' 70 games from 1996-2001. He leads the Panthers with 56 receptions for 992 yards and five touchdowns this season.

A four-time Pro Bowl selection, he ranks first in team history with 65 total touchdowns (57 receiving, 6 return, 2 rush), 57 receiving touchdowns, 9,876 receiving yards, 14.61 receiving average, and 37 games with 100 or more receiving yards. Smith stands second with 676 receptions (needs 21 catches to pass Muhsin Muhammad for the most in team history) and 392 points scored.


Two For One: Wide receiver Steve Smith caught a two-point conversion pass from quarterback Cam Newton following Newton's six-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. It marked Carolina's second successful two-point conversion attempt this season after tight end Greg Olsen caught a two-point pass versus Jacksonville (9/25/11).

Offensive Line Paves The Way, Provides Protection: Behind an offensive line featuring Jordan Gross at left tackle, Travelle Wharton at left guard, Ryan Kalil at center, Geoff Hangartner at right guard and Byron Bell at right tackle, the Panthers accumulated 137 yards rushing on 26 attempts - an average of 5.3 yards per carry - with two touchdowns.

The front five has helped Carolina total more than 100 yards rushing in eight consecutive games, also exceeding 100 yards on the ground with 107 versus Jacksonville (9/25/11), 169 at Chicago (10/2/11), 162 versus New Orleans (10/9/11), 139 at Atlanta (10/16/11), a season-high 175 versus Washington (10/23/11), 140 versus Minnesota (10/30/11) and 113 versus Tennessee (11/13/11). The Panthers, who began the game ranked eighth in the NFL in rushing and sixth in rushing yards per attempt, are averaging 128.7 yards per game and 5.0 yards per attempt.

After giving up a season-high five sacks versus Tennessee (11/13/11), the offensive front surrendered one sack against a Detroit pass rush that entered the game ranked sixth in the NFL in sacks per pass play.

Takeaway/Giveaway: Carolina forced turnovers on Detroit's first three possessions with interceptions by linebacker James Anderson and safety Charles Godfrey and a fumble recovery by defensive tackle Andre Neblett. The Panthers turned it over four times on four interceptions to finish with a minus-one turnover ratio. The three takeaways resulted in 10 points for Carolina, and the four giveaways led to seven points for Detroit. The Panthers have a negative-five turnover ratio this season, compiling a 2-0 record when having a positive turnover margin, an 0-4 record when being even in turnover margin, and an 0-4 record when having a negative turnover margin.

Sakrete Sacks: The Panthers collected two sacks against Detroit. Rookie defensive end Thomas Keiser, playing in just his second game, corralled the first two sacks of his career when he dropped Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford for losses of five yards and four yards in the second quarter.

Defensive end Charles Johnson, who leads the Panthers with seven sacks this year, did not log a sack for the second consecutive game. It marked the first time since Weeks 1 and 2 of the 2010 season that Johnson went back-to-back games without gathering a sack or at least a share of a sack.

During the 2011 season, Sakrete, a leader in concrete and concrete-related products, is donating $100 to the BVC Playground Build for every sack Carolina records. Through 10 games, the Panthers have gathered 19 sacks, raising $1,900.

The Specialists: Rookie Kealoha Pilares set a team record with a 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. He bettered the previous long of 100 yards, previously accomplished twice - most recently by Rod Smart versus New Orleans (10/5/03). It marked the ninth kickoff return for a touchdown in team history and the first since Smart versus New Orleans (10/5/03), a span of 134 games.

Pilares finished the game with three kickoff returns for 140 yards to tie the team record for the highest kickoff return average of 46.67 yards, previously accomplished by Smart versus New Orleans (10/5/03). He is averaging a team-high 26.2 yards on 13 kickoff returns with one touchdown this season.

Armanti Edwards returned two punts for 25 yards and equaled his season long of a 14-yard runback, previously accomplished versus Jacksonville (9/25/11). He is averaging 6.1 yards on 21 returns with six fair catches this year.

Kicker Olindo Mare connected on all three of his extra-point chances and both of his field goal attempts - converting from 27 and 31 yards. He has been successful on 21-of-22 extra point opportunities and 16-of-20 field goal attempts for a team-leading 69 points this season. Mare ranks 15th in NFL history with 344 made field goals and 16th with 1,489 points scored.

Mare reached the end zone on all six of his kickoffs with four touchbacks, helping to limit the Lions to an average kickoff drive start of the 19-yard line. He has placed 42-of-50 kickoffs in the end zone with 32 touchbacks this season. Since 1997, Mare leads the NFL with 270 touchbacks.

Punter Jason Baker generated a gross average of 40.7 yards and net average of 32.3 yards with none inside the 20, no touchbacks and long of 49 yards on three punts. His gross average decreased to 41.4 yards and his net average remained unchanged at 32.5 yards with 13 punts inside the 20, four touchbacks and long of 56 yards this season.

Baker is the Panthers' all-time leader with 546 punts and 163 punts inside the 20. He ranks second with a 43.93-yard gross punting average behind Todd Sauerbrun's 45.54 average.

Big Plays, Long Drives: The Panthers continued their ability to create big plays - gains of 20 or more yards. Entering the game ranked second in the NFL with 49 such plays this season, Carolina produced nine more on seven passes and two runs. The Panthers have now generated 58 big plays - six of which have been touchdowns - on 47 passes and 11 runs.

Carolina manufactured a six-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter that was capped by a six-yard touchdown run by quarterback Cam Newton. It represented the Panthers 14th touchdown drive of 80 or more yards this season. Carolina began the game tied with Green Bay for the most touchdown drives of 80 yards this year.

Claw Marks: Detroit [49] and Carolina [35] combined to score 84 points, making it the highest scoring game in Panthers history. It surpassed the previous high of 83 points by Carolina [52] versus Cincinnati [31] (12/8/02)...The Panthers' 35 points represented the most the team has totaled since posting 41 at the New York Giants (12/27/09)...Tight end Richie Brockel made his first career reception on a five-yard catch in the second quarter.

Inactives: The following seven players were inactive for the Panthers: quarterback Jimmy Clausen, linebacker Dan Connor, cornerback Brandon Hogan, defensive tackle Frank Kearse, linebacker Jason Phillips, tight end Jeremy Shockey and tackle Lee Ziemba.

Lion Tales: The Lions' 49 points are the third most ever allowed by Carolina behind the 52 given up to Oakland (12/24/00) and 51 surrendered to Atlanta (10/4/98)...Detroit's 495 total net yards (169 rushing and 326 passing) are the most ever yielded by the Panthers. The previous high was 493 yards by St. Louis (11/11/01)...The Lions' 29 first downs (9 rushing, 17 passing and 3 penalty) are the most ever allowed by Carolina. The previous high was 28 by Oakland (12/24/00)...Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw five touchdowns to equal the record for most touchdown passes by an opposing quarterback against the Panthers, previously accomplished twice - most recently by Rich Gannon for Oakland (12/24/00)...Lions running back Kevin Smith scored three touchdowns (2 rushing and 1 receiving) to tally 18 points, matching the second-most touchdowns and points in a game by an opponent, previously accomplished six times - most recently by Michael Turner of Atlanta (12/12/10)...Detroit kicker Jason Hanson converted all seven of his extra point chances to tie the records for the most PATs attempted and most PATs made against Carolina, previously accomplished by Sebastian Janikowski for Oakland (12/24/00).

Related Content