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Detroit Lions vs. Carolina Panthers preview: On Paper

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Yet another pretty decent analysis out of Detroit. I'm kind of jealous, but whatever.

Linky for the really good read

Basically they break it down run offenses vs. run defenses and passing offenses vs. passing defenses for each team.

Here's a bit of a summary:

Lions Passing Offense vs Panther Passing Defense

Lions passing offense has been pretty average, not really standing out in any category except taking care of the ball.

Panthers secondary is better than advertised. Raw numbers might lead you to believe it's near the bottom, but three of the passing offenses it has played against have passer ratings over 100. Pretty much they've held their own against them and should do well against less efficient passing offenses.

Where the problem is, the panthers haven't been as disruptive. Tied for 9th in sacks, but only 1 INT and 1 FR all year.

Advantage: Draw

Lions Rushing Offense vs. Panther Rushing Defense

Lions are getting better, but still not good. Panthers run D is good aside from the anomaly that was the saints game. 

Advantage: Panthers +1

Panthers Passing Offense vs. Lion Passing Defense

(I'll just quote this part because I think this is going to be the biggest issue for us)

Quote

panthers_pass_o.PNG

Though they experienced a bit of a renaissance last week against the Patriots, the Panthers have mostly struggled to air the ball out this year. Cam Newton has only thrown for a passer rating above 90 once this year, and he’s failed to meet the defense’s averages in half of the games. Their low output in yardage is not all that surprising, considering they’ve been a run-focused offense for several years now.

Their raw statistics are a little more promising for Carolina. They rank 23rd in passer rating (82.6), 19th in completion percentage (63.0) and eighth in yards per attempt (7.6).

With tight end Greg Olsen likely out for the rest of the year, the Panthers have relied more upon receiver Devin Funchess, who has 11 catches, 128 yards and two touchdowns in his past two weeks.

lions_pass_d.PNG

The biggest surprise for the Lions this year is just how dominant they’ve been against the pass this season. Every single opponent has been held below their passer rating average when lined up against this Lions secondary. Detroit is single-handedly responsible for ending the Case Keenum Hype Train after just one week on the rails.

Overall, the Lions rank fifth in passer rating allowed (71.6), 11th in completion percentage allowed (61.4) and 13th in yards per attempt.

Some may think that their statistics are a little inflated by the second-most interceptions in the league (7), but Detroit also has the most passes defended in the league (27), suggesting that they are just consistently around the ball. Those interceptions are well-earned, not the product of luck.

Player to watch: Ezekiel Ansah. The Lions haven’t been great at producing pressure on opposing quarterbacks, but they’ll get the chance this week. Left tackle Matt Kalil has not played well this year, and he’s also dealing with a groin injury. The last time Ansah faced a struggling left tackle (Ereck Flowers), he finished the game with three sacks.

Advantage: Lions +2. There’s part of me that still wants to be skeptical about this Lions pass defense, but this column is all about the objective stats, and objectively speaking, this pass defense has been a top five unit through the first month of the season. Cam Newton already has five interceptions this year. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t leave Ford Field with at least his sixth.

Panthers Rushing Offense vs. Lion Rushing Defense

CMC hasn't been that much of  force in the running game, but he's worked really well in the passing game and as a distraction. The real strength of the panther run game has been stewart and cam (once we figured out/remembered we were better off with him involved). Panther rushing stats might be a bit padded because of the last two defenses they've played against, but they are still good. Panthers rushing isn't that impressive on ypc (only 4ypc avg.), but are 2nd in the league getting first downs on 28.2% of carries.

Lions rushing defense doesn't look as good the last two weeks as they did the first two weeks, but even those first two weeks were against a couple of the worst rushing offenses in the league. That said they will be getting Jarrad Davis back, so that will help them against the run. Still, they are 14th on ypc allowed (4.0) and 20th on first downs allowed (22.1%).

Advantage: Even

That has the Lions at a +1 advantage over us...at least according to whoever is writing the article.

-------

My thoughts...i'll buy them having the advantage against our passing offense (though i'm hopeful we've turned a corner), but i think we've got the advantage over their rushing D.

The thing that is going to be the deciding factor is going to be our passing game. if it can pull off anything close to resembling what we did against the pats, I think we've got this. Their passing D is pretty legit, though. We will be struggling to get any separation at all. Our receivers have to grab the ball when it comes to them and Cam can't make any mistakes. There is no margin for error, otherwise they are going to make us pay. Our only real hope is high percentage passes intermittently dispersed within a clock eating run game.

Oh yeah....and our defense needs to force turnovers. That has to begin now, but against their offense, it's going to be pretty hard.

All that said, i think we've got this but i think this game can easily go either way. it's going to be close.

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It's honestly a great matchup on paper, I think it will be a defensive game. His final prediction of 20-16 doesn't seem too far off and I could see that being the final score with either team coming out ahead. 

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They have  very good CBs in Darius Slay  a former MSSTATE that has the speed, size & smarts to line up against anytype of reciever.

I think this could be a breakout game for Samuel & CMC as Lions focuses on KB & Funchess along with selling out to stop the run.

Samuel 90 YDs 1 TD

CMC 110 YDs  1 TD

 

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Schedule wise carolina has faced tougher competition but watching both teams and how the operate is a wash. Injuries and turnovers will decide this game. 

 

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Doubt it’d be hard to force turnovers against Stafford. He has been extremely lucky lately, while we’ve been on the opposite spectrum.

I think 4-5 passes last week were interceptable alone.

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I really really really really hope we get Samuel more involved than a stupid reverse and WR screen play.  

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3 hours ago, sanjay_rajput said:

They have  very good CBs in Darius Slay  a former MSSTATE that has the speed, size & smarts to line up against anytype of reciever.

I think this could be a breakout game for Samuel & CMC as Lions focuses on KB & Funchess along with selling out to stop the run.

Samuel 90 YDs 1 TD

CMC 110 YDs  1 TD

 

Lol I hope you're right.

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Game isn't played on paper or the internet. Still not very confident about this game. I hope Shula has a brilliant offensive game plan. Injuries, distractions and being in their house are all disadvantages for us. But ill see what happens

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Our defense is coming off two games giving up 30 or more.  But those were against future HOF qbs.  I think they are itching for another dominant performance.  I wouldn't be surprised if Luke and the boys on D carry us to victory in this one.  Also, I don't expect our offense to look anything more than average on the road against a solid defense.

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NFC rankings:

rush D lions 4 pants 5
pass D lions 11 pants 3
pass O lions 13 pants 14
rush O lions 11 pants 6

On paper I'd rather be us than them. 

 

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