After starting the season 5-0, the Detroit Lions have lost three out of their last four games. While the losing skid hasn't even knocked them out of the playoff picture, the Lions need to get things turned around, especially with the schedule continuing to present a number of challenges going forward.
On Sunday, the Lions don't face a tough challenge on paper. The Carolina Panthers are 2-7 and were just blown out by the Tennessee Titans. Although the Panthers have played some good teams close, they are a team still a year away from making much noise in the NFL.
All that said, the Lions do have to be weary of an upset. Cam Newton is a very talented player and has single-handedly kept the Panthers in games. I know many are expecting Sunday to be a blowout like the Denver Broncos game was a couple weeks ago, but Newton certainly presents more things to worry about than Tim Tebow.
Perhaps the toughest challenge for the Lions is not to overlook the Panthers with the Green Bay Packers coming to Detroit on Thanksgiving a week from Thursday. Of course, the Lions shouldn't be overlooking any team after what happened this past Sunday in Chicago, but it's tough not to think about the undefeated Packers when there is such a quick turnaround after this week's game against a mediocre Panthers team.