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After freaking out fantasy owners with two interceptions on the team's first two possessions on Sunday, Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford made up for it in a big way, surely leading the bulk of his owners to a win this week.
The Lions fell behind the Carolina Panthers 24-7 in the first half which put the ball, along with any hopes for a comeback, in Stafford's hands and the young quarterback made the most of the opportunity. Stafford completed 22 of 38 passes for 335 yards and five touchdowns to guide the Lions to a comeback win over the Panthers.
The five touchdowns were the most Stafford has thrown in one game this season, topping his four-TD effort in week two against Kansas City, and tied his career-high. Stafford also threw five touchdowns in a win over Cleveland during his 2009 rookie season.
Stafford easily eclipsed his Numberfire.com projection of 20.81/32.40 throwing for 244.11 yards, 1.84 TDs, 0.92 interceptions. While some of the owners of Lions receivers may be bummed Stafford spread the ball around so evenly on Sunday, no one who played Stafford this week will complain about the top tier fantasy QB numbers he put up against the Panthers.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford had a big day throwing the ball putting up 335 yards passing with five touchdowns, but Calvin Johnson's fantasy owners had to be frustrated that Stafford spread the ball around so much to put up those big numbers.
The Carolina Panthers were able to keep Johnson out of the end zone, although big 81 did catch five passes for a team-high 89 yards. Obviously, those aren't the number one receiver type of numbers fantasy players expect out of Megatron each week considering he was shut out from the end zone.
Ramarkably, the folks at Numberfire.com were close to spot on with their weekly projection for Johnson figuring he'd put up 5.79 receptions for 86.51 yards and 0.70 TDs. Yep, five receptions for 89 yards is well within any margin of error for those projections. The only surprise is that the Lions scored seven touchdowns, five through the air, and none were cashed in by Calvin Johnson.
The Detroit Lions bounced back from a poor start and a 24-7 deficit against the Carolina Panther to complete a wild second-half comeback and secure a 49-35 win.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw interceptions on Detroit's first two possessions of the game before he rallied to put up a huge performance in front of the home crowd. Stafford spread the ball around to his playmakers, throwing five touchdown passes to five different targets, and finishing the game completing 28 of 36 passes for 335 yards.
Nine different Lions had a reception and seven had more than one catch. Calvin Johnson didn't score one of those touchdowns but he did lead the Lions with 89 receiving yards on five receptions.
The Lions scored 35 second-half points as Kevin Smith rushed for two touchdowns and Stafford hooked up with Nate Burleson, Tony Scheffler and Brandon Pettigrew for three of his five TDs. Smith's final touchdown put the game away after Chris Harris intercepted a Cam Newton pass on Carolina's last real attempt for a late-game comeback of their own. Smith had a huge day on the ground with 140 yards on just 16 carries.
Newton was picked off four times by the Lions while completing 22 of 38 passes for 280 yards and one touchdown pass to Steve Smith. Newton did flash the positive play-making ability he has running for 37 yards and two touchdowns with his feet.
The win moved the Lions to 7-3 on the season to hold on to the top NFC wild card spot while the Panthers dropped to 2-8 on the season.
After forcing the Panthers to punt on their first possession, the Lions took advantage of a 15 yard penalty at the end of the return and scored three plays later. The touchdown was a screen pass to Nate Burleson around the 16 yard line and he took it the rest of the way. Burleson then mocked Cam Newton's celebration in the second quarter by telling him to zip it up.
The Lions got the ball back after a three-and-out by the Panthers and got back to business. Highlighted by a 26 yard pass completion to Calvin Johnson, the Lions scored on seven plays, a 17 yard strike to tight end Tony Scheffler. The touchdown and extra point gave the LIons their first lead of the game, 28-27.
The Panthers had a drive going into Detroit territory, thanks again to a Lions penalty that extended their dying drive, but Newton was intercepted for the second time of the game by DeAndre Levy. Unfortunately, the Lions will have to punt to start the fourth quarter.
Since the end of the first quarter, Stafford is 17-of-19 passing with four touchdowns. I think it's safe to say that he's feeling pretty comfortable in those gloves.
Kevin Smith took the first carry of the second quarter 43 yards to the Carolina 28 yard line. On the very next play, Smith caught a screen pass and took it the distance for a touchdown to put the Lions back within three.
After the Lions went three-and-out (with some penalties mixed in), Detroit bailed out Carolina on a fourth-and-four with an illegal use of hands penalty on the punt return. The penalty was clearly demoralizing for the Lions defense, as the Panthers then picked up 37 yards and a Cam Newton touchdown on the next two plays.
The Lions finally put together a good, comfortable drive on their next possession, taking over 10 plays to march into the end zone and cut the score back to 10. Matthew Stafford capped off the 80 yard drive with a quick three yard strike to rookie wide receiver Titus Young. Stafford was 8-for-9 passing for 69 yards on the drive.
On the next possession, Carolina once again took advantage of a penalty by the Lions when the Panthers would've given the ball back. A couple plays after the Lions penalty on a third down incompletion, Cam Newton completed a pass to Steve Smith for 20 yards to put the Panthers into field goal range for Mare. Mare added to the lead with a 31 yard field goal as time just about expired in the half.
After throwing two picks on his first eight pass attempts, Stafford has completed 10 of his last 11. He is 15-for-21 with 170 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Kevin Smith has 100 all-purpose yards. The Lions defense has allowed 79 yards rushing on just 11 attempts.
The Lions answered the Panthers touchdown at the end of the first quarter fairly quickly. Kevin Smith took the first carry of the second quarter and scampered 43 yards to the Carolina 28 yard line. On the very next play, Smith caught a screen pass and ran the final 28 yards for a touchdown to put the Lions back within three, 10-7.
Unfortunately, on the ensuing kickoff, Kealoha Pilares broke loose and took Hanson's kick to the house for a 102 yard kickoff return touchdown. The Lions special teams has been abysmal this year, especially in the last two weeks. They gave up a couple of huge punt returns to Devin Hester last week in Chicago, which to be fair happens to most teams.
Here's video of the tragic Pilares return:
Someone close the doors at Ford Field, because it must be a little gusty in there. Matthew Stafford threw two interceptions in the first quarter, the first being an egregious one. The second was after the Panthers bailed the Lions out with an unnecessary roughness penalty to give the Lions the ball in Carolina territory. However, Stafford's next attempt to go deep to Calvin Johnson in triple coverage was tipped and intercepted in the end zone.
Behind a 29 yard run by Deangelo Williams and a third-and-11 conversion, the Panthers were able to put themselves in field goal range. Olindo Mare hit the easy 27 yard field goal to put the Panthers up 3-0.
On the ensuing possession, Lions running back Keiland Williams fumbled on a third-and-one and the Panthers recovered in Detroit territory. Cam Newton ultimately threw a 15 yard touchdown pass to Steve Smith to give Carolina a 10-0 lead.
Matthew Stafford is just 5-of-10 for 55 yards and two interceptions. The Lions have two yards rushing and a fumble on seven carries against the usually soft Carolina run defense.
As expected, Jeremy Shockey will not play this week against the Detroit Lions, as he was suffering from a ribs injury. He was listed as doubtful all week and it was confirmed early that he would sit this one out. Greg Olsen will see a boost in action as a result.
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, whose status was in doubt with fellow cornerback Brandon Hogan, is active. Hogan on the other hand will not play. Frank Kearse and James Anderson, both of whom were on the injury report this week, are also active.
Here is the full list of inactives for the Carolina Panthers:
Cornerback Aaron Berry is out because he woke up this morning under the weather.
Here is the full list of inactives for the Lions (Lawrence Jackson was added shortly after):
Calvin Johnson is the second-ranked fantasy wide receiver to date, but the Panthers could provide one of his toughest match ups of the season on Sunday. Johnson will predominantly be going up against cornerback Chris Gamble, who has already relatively shut down star receivers Marques Colston, Larry Fitzgerald, and Roddy White this season.
Of course, you're still going to play Megatron, but it's possible the Lions try to spread it out on Sunday after unsuccessfully going to CJ 15 times last Sunday in the Lions' blowout loss to the Bears, Johnson's worst fantasy output of the season (seven receptions, 81 yards). Some might suggest that you can't go to Johnson enough, but it's possible the Lions try to establish a running game and be a little more economically efficient with their targets to their stud receiver, which could be either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how well the Panthers handle him.
Numberfire.com projects Johnson will have just under 90 yards receiving and a touchdown. Fantasy owners should be more than happy with that, but they need to know going in that the Panthers pass defense allows opposing wide receivers over seven fantasy points less than the average defense in the league. It's entirely possible that Johnson puts up his first real fantasy stinker this week vs. the Panthers. I wouldn't bet on it, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens either.
Top-five fantasy quarterback Matthew Stafford had one of his most miserable games of his young career last week against the Chicago Bears, getting picked off four times (two returned for touchdowns) and throwing just one touchdown pass. Stafford wore a glove on his throwing hand for the first time in his career in order to improve his grip that is suffering due to a fractured index finger.
If the real reason for Stafford's struggles was a result of the wind in the Windy City and not the glove, playing in comfy Ford Field against the very mediocre Carolina Panthers should produce different, much better numbers.
According to Numberfire.com, Stafford is projected to be a top ten fantasy play this week, currently predicting he will put up about 245 yards passing and just under two touchdowns.
The Panthers are worse against the run, so if the Lions can establish any sort of running game, that should make things much easier for the Stafford-to-Calvin connection. Carolina is fairly good against the pass, though, so it's not a lock that the Lions' pass attack will rebound to form. But it won't be worse than last week -- it can't.
The Detroit Lions are taking on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, following a bad loss to the rival Chicago Bears. They're still high up in the NFC North division and not nearly out of things yet, but they need to handle the Panthers to stay in the thick of things, so they aren't passed up by the Bears in regards to the wild card race. It's unlikely that either team will catch the undefeated Green Bay Packers at the top, but many are of the opinion that one of the wild cards will be coming out of the NFC North - so considering the struggles of the Minnesota Vikings, that means either the Bears or Lions.
Carolina is coming off a bad loss of their own, dropping a game to the Tennessee Titans 30-3. After starting the season very strong and surprising, they've come back to Earth over the last couple games. They need to get back on track and get some of their momentum back.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, Nov. 20, 1:00 p.m. RT
Location: Ford Field, Detroit
TV Schedule: Fox
TV Announcers: Dick Stockton, John Lynch
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket (WXYT-FM)
The Detroit Lions will be without the services of their starting running back once again this weekend when they face the Carolina Panthers at Ford Field. Jahvid Best was ruled out due to concussion systems officially following the release of Friday's injury report.
Best was expected to be out -- despite marked improvement being reported from head coach Jim Schwartz -- as he continues to recover from a pair of concussions sustained earlier in the season. He hasn't been able to play since the Lions played the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 16.
The only other player ruled out for the weekend was punter Ryan Donahue. Donahue injured his right quad last week while filling in for Jason Hanson during practice and was expected to be out again this week. In his place, the Lions have brought in Ben Graham.
Defensive ends Lawrence Jackson and Willie Young are both questionable with injuries to their thigh and ankle, respectively, while Amari Spievey and Matthew Stafford are probable and expected to be able to start.
The Carolina Panthers are gearing up for their game against the Detroit Lions on Sunday, but their injury report for Week 11 did not do them many favors. The Panthers listed six players on the injury report -- four of them starters -- following their final practice of the week.
The biggest injury happens to be to starting tight end Jeremy Shockey as he's been ruled doubtful this weekend due to a rib injury. Shockey has only caught 24 passes this season, but it's never helpful for a rookie quarterback to be without one of his starters on offense.
The Panthers also listed starting linebacker Dan Connor as questionable due to a shoulder injury. Connor may have suffered a setback during the week as he was listed as limited on Wednesday and Thursday before missing all of Friday's practice. If he's unable to go, the Panthers will be hurting for depth as fellow linebackers Jason Phillips and James Anderson also showed up on the injury report.
The only other players listed on Friday's report were cornerbacks Captain Munnerlyn and Brandon Hogan. Hogan is questionable with a knee injury after being added to Friday's report while Munnerlyn is probable with an injury to his quad.
Heading into this week's NFL action the Detroit Lions are in desperate need of a victory in order to keep pace in the NFC wild card chase. Fortunately, they get one of the NFC's worst teams this week at Ford Field when the Carolina Panthers come to town. SB Nation's odds partner Oddshark has already opened the Lions as an eight point favorite at home, and Lions fans are excited to see a porous Panthers defense:
The Carolina Panthers are 4-1 SU career vs Detroit, but just 1-4 ATS as these NFC teams battle in a conference tilt in Week 11 betting action. Both teams are coming off bad losses as Tennessee clobbered Carolina and the Lions were thrashed in Chicago.
Carolina does bring the 2011 NFL Draft's No. 1 overall pick in Cam Newton, who has been very effective on offense. He started his NFL career by throwing for over 400 yards in his first two career games.
Jahvid Best hasn't played for the Detroit Lions since suffering a second concussion against the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 16, just a couple of months after he sustained a similar head injury during the preseason. The starting running back looks like he will miss at least one more game, unfortunately, as he hasn't quite shown enough improvement to be allowed to return to the lineup.
Lions head coach Jim Schwartz said earlier this week that his running back would need to be symptom-free before he returns to the Detroit practice field. He isn't quite there, but Best is improving according to the coach's comments after Thursday's practice.
"I'll just say this with Jahvid: He is improving, and he's back in the building and those kind of things on a limited basis," Schwartz said. "That's, obviously, a good sign, but we still don't have clearance for him to do physical activity yet."
It's likely he will be ruled out once again for the Lions game against the Carolina Panthers, but that won't be made official until Friday's practice report is released.
The Detroit Lions have a game with the Carolina Panthers coming up this weekend, and considering starting running back Jahvid Best will likely be ruled out, it will be important for the remainder of the team to be able to contribute as much as possible as they try to pick up the slack. That wasn't yet the case according to Thursday's injury report, however, as safety Amari Spievey was the only player to return to practice.
Spievey, dealing with a toe injury, didn't practice at all on Wednesday. The safety returned for limited duty on Thursday, but four other players remained sidelined for a second consecutive practice.
Jahvid Best was still out with a concussion, defensive end Lawrence Jackson missed another practice due to his thigh injury, Willie Young was out with an ankle injury and punter Ryan Donahue's quad is still hurting him.
"Before, it was like a stabbing pain. Now it's still a stabbing pain," Donahue said said. "It hasn't changed. Tapping the ball, it felt good just to get the ball off your foot, but anytime you tried to put any power under it, (I can't do it)."
Matthew Stafford is still listed on the injury report, but he made it through his second consecutive practice.
The Carolina Panthers had to add Cam Newton to last week's injury report at the last minute, but they seem to be getting healthier as their game against the Detroit Lions gets closer. Two defensive starters returned to practice on Thursday after being listed as out on Wednesday's injury report.
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn missed Wednesday's practice with a quad injury, but he was a full participant on Thursday. James Anderson, the Panthers' starting sam linebacker, also returned to full practice on Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with an ankle injury.
Two other Carolina starters were still bothered by their injuries, however. Jeremy Shockey missed a second straight day of practice due to a rib injury while linebacker Dan Connor was limited again with a shoulder injury. Jason Phillips, a back-up linebacker, also missed another practice with a calf injury.
The full injury report is embedded below.
The Detroit Lions have had their fair share of injury issues the past few weeks. Judging by Wednesday's week-opening injury report for the upcoming game against the Carolina Panthers, it isn't likely to get better, either.
The Panthers listed starters Matthew Stafford, Jahvid Best, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Amari Spievey and Ryan Donahue on Wednesday's injury report. Considering Stafford was able to take his normal reps and Vanden Bosch's availability was not injury related, however, it might not be as bad as it looks on first glance.
The remaining injury report is included below.
|P||Ryan Donahue||Quad (Right)||DNP|
|DE||Kyle Vanden Bosch||Not Injury Related||DNP|
|QB||Matthew Stafford||Finger (Right)||FP||
As first reported by Adam Caplan, the Detroit Lions made a change at punter on Tuesday. They released Robert Malone, who filled in for the injured Ryan Donahue on Sunday in Chicago, and signed Ben Graham.
Graham is from Australia and has spent most of his career with the New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals. This year, he only appeared in one game with the Cardinals, but now he is getting a chance to fill in for Donahue in Detroit. Donahue missed Wednesday's practice, so it's looking unlikely that he will play on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
In other roster news, the Lions signed defensive end Ugo Chinasa to their practice squad. Defensive end Kyle Moore was signed off the Lions' practice squad by the Bills, so the Lions added Chinasa to fill the vacancy.
Chinasa is a rookie from Oklahoma State who spent training camp with the Carolina Panthers after signing as an undrafted free agent.
The Carolina Panthers have a rather light injury report heading into their match-up with the Detroit Lions this weekend. The Panthers were missing just four players oduring the week's first official practice while a fifth player, linebacker Dan Connor, was limited due to a shoulder injury.
Jeremy Shockey was the most recognizable player on the report as he was banged up quite a bit this past weekend. The tight end's status is currently unclear for the Lions game, but the Charlotte Observer posted an update on Tuesday.
Tight end Jeremy Shockey had an MRI Monday to determine the extent of an injury he suffered early in the game against Tennessee Sunday that limited his participation.
Shockey was injured on the Panthers' first offensive series. He returned briefly but was limited by what coach Ron Rivera called an injury to his side.
"He got bumped up pretty good," Rivera said.
The remaining injury report is included below.
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