The Lions return home on Sunday with hopes of continuing their strong start. A win over the 0-4 Carolina Panthers would be their best start to a season through five games since the 2011 5-0 Lions team and the first 4-1 start since 1991.
Last time out: Another dominant defensive performance from Detroit guided them to their win over Green Bay on Thursday night. The Packers only recorded three first downs—two by penalty—and 23 net yards in the first half. They ended the game with only 27 yards on the ground and their 203 net yards through the air didn't come unblemished as cornerback Jerry Jacobs had two interceptions to go along with five Detroit sacks.
The Lions had almost 10 times the rushing yards as Green Bay with 211. The offensive line helped David Montgomery to 121 yards on 32 carries for three touchdowns. A potent run game allowed the Lions to hold a heavy time of possession lead over Green Bay, 37:58 to 22:02, and effectively end any comeback attempts.
A lack of offensive production plagued Carolina in their 21-13 loss to Minnesota last week. The offense was unable to find the end zone despite having a 38:29 time of possession and totaling more first downs, 20 to 14, than the Vikings.
Defensively, the Panthers were formidable against Minnesota's high-powered attack. The team's strength all season has been their pass defense which ranks top 10 in the league allowing only 176.8 yards per game. It showed again last Sunday when they picked off Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins twice, one of which was returned 99 yards for a touchdown.
Comparison: Carolina and Detroit have both faced the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks this season. The Lions fell short against Seattle in overtime 37-31 in Week 2 and defeated Atlanta in Week 3, 20-6. The Panthers lost to both the Falcons (24-10) and Seahawks (37-27).
Matchups: Detroit's defensive line will be looking to carry over momentum and make life difficult for a struggling Panthers offensive line. Carolina's 14 sacks given up are near the bottom of the league and the 13 sacks produced by the Lions places them near the top. Continued strong turnouts at Ford Field from Lions fans could make a real difference as well. The Panthers have a league leading 12 false starts already this season—committing eight of them in their last away game at Seattle.
In their last meeting: Last season's matchup was all Carolina. The Panthers rushed for 320 yards, winning 37-23 at Bank of America Stadium.
The overall series: The Panthers lead the overall series 8-3 with the Lions last win coming in 2018 at Ford Field.
Here are 5 Panthers storylines to follow heading into Sunday's matchup:
1. Notebook: Bryce Young is "running my own race"
Panthers Bryce Young remains focused on controlling his own game while rooting for fellow rookie quarterback and friend C.J. Stroud ... READ MORE
2. D'Shawn Jamison looks to build off strong game against Vikings
Undrafted cornerback D'Shawn Jamison arrived in Carolina off Waivers in late August and has been playing a big role amongst some injuries in the secondary ... READ MORE
3. Yetur Gross-Matos making plays at outside linebacker, and he wants more
Yetur Gross-Matos has impressed and adapted quickly after moving from being a traditional defensive end to outside linebacker in a new scheme ... READ MORE
4. Notebook: Panthers standing out in third-down defense
Despite a tough start to the season, Carolina has seen positives in their defensive effort and specifically their ability to get off the field ... READ MORE
5. Locker Room Sound: Week 5 - Brian Burns
Third-year defensive captain Brian Burns discusses the challenge in dealing with the Lions offense and Carolina's mentality towards finding the first win ... WATCH
View photos of the starters for the Carolina Panthers.