The Detroit Lions remain in the hunt to set up a strong finish to the 2020 season, but a lot will have to go their way the next few weeks in order to make that a possibility.
Detroit got things off to a good start against Washington, but they will have to continue the momentum against the Carolina Panthers this week. Carolina is on a tailspin this season at 3-7, but the Panthers have very quietly been in every single game they’ve played and have had very few ugly losses. That in itself should be enough to get Detroit’s attention this week.
The Lions, perhaps as a result, will start off as 2 point underdogs to the Panthers on the road. Plenty of that could change before kickoff, however, with the knowledge that Carolina could be without a few major difference makers on the offensive side of the ball.
Vegas line opens with Panthers favored at home by 2 over Lions.
Sure to change.
Who ya got?
— Mike O'Hara (@MikeOHaraNFL) November 16, 2020
Obviously, it’s more than possible the Lions rise to a narrow favorite in this game, however silly it might seem. Carolina has struggled at times this year even though they have been game in every single matchup.
Regardless, this figures to be a tough game and it’s one the Lions must win to keep their faint flicker of a playoff hope alive for what’s been an inconsistent 2020 thus far.
Lions-Panthers Series History
Detroit and Carolina don’t meet often given the separation between their divisions, but since 2008, the Panthers are 3-2 against the Lions. That includes a 2-0 mark at home, where they will play this Sunday. Historically, the Panthers lead the all-time series by a 6-3 margin. The Last time the sides met, Detroit squeaked out a 20-19 win in 2018 when the Panthers famously went for a 2 point conversion on the goal line. The Lions snuffed out the play and claimed the win at Ford Field.
Carolina has only been around since 1995, so this is one of the few series in the NFL the Lions can pull close to even in head to head. Another win and the Lions could get to 6-4 historically against the Panthers, who have done things that Detroit hasn’t in decades like win playoff games and go to the Super Bowl.
The Lions and Panthers are set to battle in what figures to be an extraordinarily important game for Detroit. So far, the Lions remain hanging around the NFC playoff picture and are currently 2 losses back. They can ill-afford any slip up against a team that’s had its share of injury trouble the season as well as inconsistency and is breaking in a new staff. In spite of all that, the Panthers have shown fight and have been in nearly every single game they’ve played, so if there is a team that looks vulnerable, it could be the Lions if they aren’t competing hard in this matchup on the road.
This time around, it will be a big challenge for the Panthers to win if they cannot get their healthiest players involved. In spite of this, they start off as narrow favorites to win the game.