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Lions vs Panthers Pre-game WK-11

The Detroit Lions will play two home games in the span of only four days starting this Sunday when they host the Carolina Panthers. Detroit enters the game with a 6-3 record while their opponent hosts a 2-7 record.

Let us be very clear from the start. The Detroit Lions should win this game by at least two touchdowns. But as you must know by now, what the Lions should do and what they actually do can be two completely different things.

Carolina's rookie quarterback, Cam Newton has definitely opened some eyes. Being a rookie QB and at midway through the season to be 7th in the NFL in passing yards, well that can open eyes. On the other hand, yards is not all there is to a quarterback. In nine games, Newton only has 11 touchdown passes and has complimented that with 10 picks. He is an up and coming young quarterback, but he is far from polished.

Another intriguing stat is that Newton has been sacked 12 times in his last 3 games. So the Lions pass rushing defensive line must be drooling with anticipation. But let us face the facts, the Detroit Lions, with 3 losses in their last 4 games, is not a team that is instilling much confidence in their fans lately.

There are a lot of questions around the Lions this Sunday. Are they as bad as they showed in Chicago? Are they as good as they looked in Denver? How is Matthew Stafford's finger, and how will he be with the gloves this week? Will they try throwing another 63 times and ignore the running game again? How good will the defensive line be with Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young hurt?

The Panthers just do not have near the talent that the Lions have on their team. The Lions offense is more explosive and their defense is in a completely different league. Then again, you can say nearly the same thing about the Lions and the Bears and we all saw how that turned out.

Linehan sticks with a nightmare of a scheme and this has allowed teams to stick close. The defensive line tires out some later in games from all of the 3 and outs putting them back on the field so quickly. Even so, the panthers just are not a real match for the Lions.

This is one of those games the Lions are expected to win and they will win it. The question is more about how close they allow the Panthers to make it. Some believe it will be a shootout and a high scoring game. I don't see it. The Lions are not consistent enough to where they have convinced me they can move the ball early and put a team away. The Shotgun scheme Linehan loves so much makes it nearly impossible to have a threatening running game. I see two or three touchdowns for the Lions. Whether it is a blowout or not depends on just how well the Lions defense shuts down the Panthers offense.

Lions 27 - Panthers 17

Yet if the Lions offense sputters again and they lose a close game, it would not complete surprise me.

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