Panthers pitch shutout against listless Lions
The Carolina Panthers posted their first shutout in five years and second-string quarterback P.J. Walker orchestrated enough offense in a 20-0 victory over the visiting Detroit Lions on Sunday in Charlotte, N.C.
It was the seventh shutout for Carolina in franchise history. Detroit was limited to 185 yards of total offense.
Walker, a former XFL player making his first start in the NFL, completed 24 of 34 passes for 258 yards and one touchdown. He was intercepted twice, both times in the end zone after the Panthers had the ball inside the Detroit 10-yard line.
The Panthers (4-7) snapped a five-game losing streak by winning for the second time this season at home.
Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, who wore a protective wrap on his right thumb, completed 18 of 33 passes for 178 yards. He was sacked five times.
Walker filled in for Teddy Bridgewater, who was injured late in a loss a week earlier to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Bridgewater tested his right knee in pregame warm-ups before the decision was made to hold him out. All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey also missed the game due to injury.
The Panthers scored on Mike Davis’ 1-yard run in the first quarter, capping a 10-play, 95-yard drive that lasted more than six minutes
Carolina went up 14-0 in the third quarter on Walker’s 17-yard pass to Curtis Samuel. It marked Walker’s first NFL touchdown pass.
On Detroit’s ensuing possession, an illegal formation penalty against the Lions wiped out a 51-yard touchdown play on a trick play. It was the first of only two penalties on Detroit until the game’s last two minutes.
The other best chance to score for Detroit (4-6) came in the opening minute of the fourth quarter when Matt Prater missed wide left on a 51-yard field-goal attempt.
Carolina’s Joey Slye made a 56-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 37-yarder in the fourth quarter.
Panthers receiver DJ Moore caught seven passes for 127 yards.
Detroit dropped to 1-5 all-time in Charlotte.
–Field Level Media