Panthers hand lifeless Lions first shutout since ’09

Marvin Jones #11 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Marvin Jones #11 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Detroit Lions fail to score a point in another inexplicably poor performance

There have been many cringeworthy showings by the Detroit Lions over the last three seasons. Sunday’s flop may rank as the most disheartening, and it could seal the fate of a coaching staff that is quickly running out of excuses.

The Lions mustered just 185 yards of offense in a 20-0 dismantling at the hands of the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium. They were shutout for the first time since 2009 and their yardage total was their lowest since Week 16 of 2019. At 4-6 and with myriad concerns all across the franchise, the Lions are moving closer to full-scale changes.

The Panthers opened the scoring midway through the first quarter with a 10-play, 95-yard drive, capped by a short touchdown run by running back Mike Davis. A fumbled snap recovered by Carolina put them deep in Lions territory, but cornerback Amani Oruwariye picked off Panthers starting quarterback P.J. Walker in the end zone.

Yet, the Lions managed just 89 total yards of offense in a forgettable first half, and went to the locker room down 7-0. A 17-yard touchdown reception by wideout Curtis Samuel and a field goal by kicker Joey Slye gave the Panthers a 17-point advantage late in the third frame, an insurmountable lead for a scuffling Lions offense.

Playing with a wrap on his injured right thumb, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford finished 18/33 for 178 yards, his lowest total since his rookie season and the 10th lowest total of his career. The Lions played without receivers Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola, as well as tailback D’Andre Swift, who all missed the game with injuries.

Trending. Detroit Lions: 4 dream replacements for Matt Patricia. light

Walker, the former XFL player, made his first career start at quarterback for the Panthers, replacing injured starter Teddy Bridgewater. He completed 24 of 34 throws for 258 yards with a touchdown and a pair of interceptions. The Detroit Lions will host the Houston Texans on Thanksgiving Day at 12:30 p.m. EST.