Detroit Lions 49, Carolina panthers 35 (box score)
The Lions started by doing that hadn’t happened since 1991 then finished by doing something that hadn’t ever been done in NFL history.
It was a familiar script through the Lions’ first three possessions. Two interceptions and a fumble made for abrupt ends to potential scoring drives and set the Panthers up with short fields to work with. If it hadn’t been for an Eric Wright interception of Cam Newton in the red zone, the first quarter would have ended a lot worse than the 10-0 score that it turned out to be. In the process, the Lions became the first team since 1991 to start a game with three consecutive turnovers.
The second quarter got off to a much better start, largely thanks to running back Kevin Smith. He broke off a long run and capped the drive with a 28-yard touchdown pass. Unfortunately, the Lions gave it right back when Kealoha Pilares took the kickoff back 101 yards for a touchdown.
Cam Newton would later add a touchdown run to give the Panthers a 24-7 lead to set the stage for the Lions to make a little history.
The Lions came out clicking in the second half and closed out the game by outscoring the Panthers 35-8 for the victory. In doing so, the Lions became the first team in NFL history to overcome 17+ point deficits in three games in one season.
Matthew Stafford threw three of his five touchdown passes in the second half and Kevin Smith ran for two fourth quarter touchdowns to help propel the Lions to the victory, their seventh of the season.
While the offense put up some fireworks, the defense made some big plays of their own. Cam Newton was sacked just once but pressure from the Lions defensive line was directly responsible for at least two of the season-high four interceptions he threw on the day.