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Carolina puts a dagger in Lions comeback attempt with third down conversion

Curtis Samuel picks up 17 yards on the kick return, and Carolina will start with the ball at the 23-yard-line.

Anthony Zettel swallows up Stewart behind the line on first down to set up 2nd-and-12. Detroit takes their final timeout (3:13 Q4).

Funchess catches a pass near the sideline, but is wrapped up in-bounds to force 3rd-and-9. Newton finds a wide-open Benjamin over the middle, and Carolina will be able to bleed out the clock to close the game.

Two-minute warning: Panthers 27, Lions 24. 1st-and-10 Panthers at the Carolina 41.

Three consecutive QB-kneels close out the game.

Final: Panthers 27, Lions 24

The comeback is officially on

On third down, Stafford finds Jared Abbrederis for a 25-yard completion that puts Detroit in the redzone. He is unable to complete two passes on the ensuing first and second down. On 3rd-and-10, Stafford finds Fells again for a 20-yard touchdown (27-24 Panthers, 3:28 Q4)

Newtown sacked on third down, Lions get ball back

The Panthers will start the drive at the 14-yard-line. Newton finds Funchess for a big gain on first down, but the former Michigan WR is flagged for offensive pass interference. On 1st-and-17, Stewart gets popped by George Johnson at the 1-yard-line, but he's able to escape the lineman's grip and get back to the 5.

Stewart gets the ball again, this time breaking a 9-yard run back to the original line of scrimmage to set up 3rd-and-10. The Lions defense comes up big on third down, sacking Newton (27-17 Panthers, 4:13 Q4).

With time running out, Lions cut the lead to 10

Stafford finds Tate on the opening play of the drive for a 22-yard pickup. The ensuing play from Riddick picks up 8 yards, but another Stafford sack makes it 3rd-and-4. He finds TJ Jones for a first down at the Carolina 37-yard-line.

Stafford is finding his shifty receivers in the flat, picking up huge chunks of yardage at a time. Carolina calls a timeout to slow down a Detroit offense moving with a sense of urgency.

Stafford finds Darren Fells in the endzone for a 4-yard touchdown strike, and the Honolulu blue's fearless leader limps off the field after cutting the deficit to ten (27-17 Panthers, 5:52 Q4).

Carolina drive stalls but takes decent chunk out of clock

Detroit's front seven is having a hard time reaching the backfield when Newton has the ball in his hands. He has all day to throw on 3rd-and-4, and connects with Funchess for a Panthers first down.

Carolina is clearly placing an emphasis on clock management, as they're imploring a steady mix of runs and short passes. An incomplete pass on 3rd-and-12 will give the Lions the ball back with just under 9 minutes remaining in the game (27-10 Panthers, 8:59 Q4).

Lions offensive struggling to gain momentum in three-possession game

A penalty on first down makes it 1st-and-5 for the Lions at midfield.

Stafford finds Ebron for a 6-yard completion that'll move the chains, which is followed by sarcastic applause from the Detroit crowd. The quarterback is sacked the following play, and an incomplete pass sets up 3rd-and-18. Not ideal.

Stafford manages to escape the first man in pursuit, but is ultimately brought down 9 yards behind the line of scrimmage to bring up 4th-and-27, ultimately bringing Locke out for another punt (27-10 Panthers, 12:19 Q4).

Carolina fails to extend lead after turnover-on-downs

Two short gains from Carolina sets up 3rd-and-4 from the 41, where Newton finds Funchess for an 11-yard gain and a first down at the Detroit 21-yard-line.

Newton looks to scramble for a first down on 2nd-and-9, but he'll be wrapped up behind the line by Akeem Spence for a 2-yard loss to end the third quarter.

End of third quarter: Panthers 27, Lions 10.

Newton goes down in the backfield again, this time losing the ball in the process. He scoops up the rock and Gano lines up for a 55-yard field goal attempt.

Field goal attempt no good. Lions take over at the 45-yard-line.

Offensive struggles keep deficit at 17

The Lions take over at the 20-yard-line.

Abdullah breaks free for a 12-yard run on 2nd-and-2 to give the Lions a fresh batch of downs. An 8-yard pass to Tate and a 1-yard run from Abdullah makes it 3rd-and-1 at the Detroit 49. Play-action to Zenner results in a pass attempt from Stafford that misses Ebron.

On fourth down, Zenner is blown up in the backfield by Julius Peppers for a loss of 4 and Carolina will earn the ball back at Detroit's 45 (27-10 Panthers, 3:14 Q3).

Defense holds strong, gets Newton off the field quickly

Carolina's offense takes over at their own 32-yard-line. Detroit's defense, yet to force a turnover, trots onto the field for their most important stint of the game.

Carolina is unable to get much going on first and second down. Newton finds Russell Shepard over the middle on third down, but he's stopped before the first down marker (27-10 Panthers, 7:38 3Q).

Lions drive

After a solid start, Abdullah is in the midst of a stretch where not much is happening for him at the line. He's wrapped up on first down to start the drive. A strike to Marvin Jones makes it 3rd-and-2.

Carolina's front seven dominates Detroit's offensive line again, and Stafford goes down for a loss of 6 yards. Locke will be forced to punt (27-10 Panthers, 7:46 Q3).

Defense holds Carolina to field goal

In three plays, the Carolina defense loses three yards. Gano executes a field goal opporunity from 44 yards out (27-10 Panthers, 9:31 Q3)

Carolina pressure forces another fumble, Panthers get ball back deep in enemy territory

Following a touchback and offside penalty on the kickoff, Stafford and company take over at the 30-yard-line.

Stafford is stripped in the backfield by Kawann Short. The Panthers jump on the football and will have the football at the Detroit 23-yard-line.

Carolina offense moves ball with ease, extends lead to 24-10

Carolina starts the second half with an opportunity to extend their 17-10 lead, opening the drive at the 25. A quarterback draw on 3rd-and-4 picks up Newton 5 yards on the ground and gives the Panthers a fresh set of downs.

On first down, Newtown's attempt to Funchess falls incomplete near the sideline. He remains down with an injury after the play, and a timeout is called to aid the hurting wide receiver. He limps off under his own power.

Injury update: DT Haloti Ngata is questionable to return with an elbow injury. 

Dickson continues to find separation in the secondary. Newton finds his favorite receiver of the day once again, picking up 23 yards as he rumbles down to the Detroit 41-yard-line.

Newton drops a dime into the arms of Benjamin, who beats Slay in the endzone (24-10 Panthers, 10:50 3Q).

First half leaders


(DET) Matthew Stafford: 9/17, 71 yards, 0 TD

(CAR) Cam Newton: 15/17, 237 yards, 2 TD


(DET) Ameer Abdullah: 7 carries, 22 yards

(CAR) Jonathan Stewart: 9 carries, 13 yards


(DET) Marvin Jones: 5 receptions, 42 yards

(CAR) Ed Dickson: 4 receptions, 152 yards

Lions mistakes force conservative strategy on final drive of the half

The Lions will start their final drive of the half from the 25.

Stafford fumbles on his way to the ground, but Greg Robinson recovers the ball to avoid giving Carolina the ball back.

On 3rd-and-17, Shaq Thompson drills Riddick in the backfield. The Lions run out the clock to bring the quarter to an end.

End of first half: Panthers 17, Lions 10.

11 plays, 7 points for Carolina

Newton looks to Dickson again on first down, picking up 13 yards. A 9-yard run from McCaffrey and a 5-yard run from Jonathan Stewart earns the Panthers another first down.

Stewart gets the ball up the middle again for an 8-yard gain. They look to run up the middle with Stewart again the following play, but he's swallowed up in the backfield to make it 3rd-and-7. Funchess fights off several Detroit defenders to pick up 9 yards and a fresh set of downs at the Detroit 34-yard-line.

Two-minute warning: Lions 10, Panthers 10. 1st-and-10 Carolina at the Detroit 34.

Play-action springs open Benjamin over the middle, but an attempt from Newton hits his hands before falling to the ground. On second down, Stewart takes a screen pass and breaks multiple tackles on his way to a 21-yard again. 1st-and-10 at the Detroit 13. Timeout Carolina.

The Panthers gain two yards and call their final timeout of the half with 1:01 remaining in the quarter. Newtown gives the ball to Stewart again, who is stopped for just a 1-yard gain at the 10-yard-line. Detroit calls a timeout prior to third down with 0:55 remaining.

Newtown finds Funchess in the back of the endzone for a 10-yard touchdown pass (17-10 Panthers, 0:48 Q2).

Lions offense having trouble picking up momentum

Agnew's short return sets the Lions up with a first down at the 37-yard-line.

Detroit's running game is looking strong, as Riddick bounces outside for a 6-yard gain. Stafford misses Golden Tate on 3rd-and-3, looking frustrated as he leaves the field. Locke's punt goes out of bounds at the Carolina 27 (10-10 tie, 4:58).

Stingy Detroit defense forces Carolina off the field quickly

The Panthers take over with a chance to snag the lead, beginning at the Carolina 26.

After a 2-yard gain from Benjamin, the Lions defense pops Jonathan Stewart in the backfield for a 2-yard loss. Newton is immediately swallowed up by Haloti Ngata and company, resulting in a 9-yard sack that will force a punt (10-10 tie, 6:28 2Q).

Lions go three-and-out

Lions take a penalty on the first play of the ensuing drive, making it 1st-and-20 from the 15.

Stafford finds Jones for 11 yards on first down and 7 yards on second down. 3rd and 2.

Stafford looks for Theo Riddick, who was tightly contested by Kuechly. Riddick begged for a holding flag to be thrown on the pro-bowl linebacker, but to no avail. Jeff Locke will be forced to punt (10-10 tie, 9:14 2Q).

Carolina moves ball quickly, McCaffrey ties game

Newton finds an open Dickson at midfield on 3rd and 1 for a 57-yard gain. 1st and goal for the Panthers on the 9-yard-line. On second down, Newton pitches the ball to Christian McCaffrey for a 6-yard touchdown, the rookie's first National Football League touchdown (10-10 tie, 11:09 Q2) .

Penalties continue to cost Carolina, Lions take 10-3 lead

A 23-yard kick return puts the ball at the 25-yard-line, where the Lions will begin their next drive.

Ameer Abdullah is finding lanes in the middle of the field. He navigates the line again for a 6-yard gain. On third down, Zach Zenner gets to the outside for a 14-yard gain and a first down.

Stafford finds Jones for a 12-yard pass on first down, moving the chains again in Carolina territory.

Theo Riddick catches a ball from Stafford in the flat, makes a nice juke move to evade Luke Kuechly, and gets 21 yards upfield to reach the Carolina 20.

End of first quarter: Lions 3, Panthers 3.

Kuechly gets to the ball carrier again, but he grabs a handful of Abdullah's facemask. The Lions will have a first down at the Carolina 9.

Another facemask penalty gives the Lions a first down again. 1st-and-goal at the 5. Stafford tries to find TJ Jones in the endzone, and a pass interference penalty gives the Lions a fresh set of down at the 1.

Zach Zenner gets the ball from Stafford and punches it in from one yard out (10-3 Lions, 13:37 2Q).

Carolina threatens in redzone after long completion to Dickson, settles for field goal

Carolina will takeover at their own 36-yard-line.

Lions defense is neutralizing the Carolina running game early, but Newton is having little to no trouble finding open receivers in the secondary. He completes a pass to Dickson for a 64-yard gain. Carolina will have the ball first and goal on the 4.

Two very short gains on the ground set up crucial third down from the 1-yard-line.

Timeout Carolina.

Newton endzone attempt to Kelvin Benjamin falls incomplete courtesy of tight coverage from Darius Slay.

Carolina settles for a 21-yard field goal from Graham Gano to tie the game (3-3 Lions, 3:55 QI)

Lions offense goes three-and-out on second drive

The Lions begin their second drive at the 26.

After two plays for no gain, Stafford just overthrows Golden Tate in open space on third down (3-0 Lions, 6:52 Q1).

Carolina's offense crippled by penalties early

Cam Newton and the Carolina offense take the field at the 21-yard-line. Before the first snap, they were flagged for having 12 men in the huddle. The start the drive at the 16.

Newton finds Devin Funchess for a 15-yard pickup through the air. They'll have a first down at the Carolina 31. Matt Kalil takes a personal foul penalty, Carolina's third accepted penalty of the game, to make it 2nd and 20. Newton finds Ed Dickson over the middle for an 18-yard gain.

Newtown scrambles for a first down, but it's overturned by a holding penalty. Carolina cannot convert on third down, and will punt the ball to Jamal Agnew (3-0 Lions, 7:56 Q1).

Prater rescues stalled opening drive, Lions lead 3-0

Detroit wins the toss, and the Lions will receive the opening kickoff.

Detroit starts their opening drive from the 25-yard-line. A 16-yard run from Ameer Abdullah on first down put the Lions at the 41, and is moving downfield with a no-huddle offense. Two short pass plays to Marvin Jones Jr. and a quick strike to Golden Tate keep the chains moving and earn the Lions a first down at the Panthers 42.

Stafford drew the Panther defense offside, resulting in a deep shot to Jones that falls incomplete but yields a pass interference penalty. The Lions will start at the Panther 12-yard-line with 12:27 left in the quarter.

The drive stalls at the 12-yard-line after a pass to Ebron in the endzone falls to the ground.

Matt Prater drills a 30-yard field goal (3-0 Lions, 11:36 1Q).

The Detroit Lions meet the Carolina Panthers in a battle of 3-1 teams on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ford Field. Follow the action with live updates throughout the game by Nolan Bianchi of The Detroit News.


When: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Where: Ford Field, Detroit

TV / radio: Fox / WJR 760

Records: Lions 3-1, Panthers 3-1

Line: Lions by 3


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