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Looking ahead to Lions' next opponent: Carolina Panthers

A look at the Carolina Panthers, which will play host to the Detroit Lions in Week 2 of the season.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Next up for the Detroit Lions is a road game against the Carolina Panthers. Here's an early look at the Panthers:

Carolina Panthers (1-0)

Schedule so far

Week 1 - at Buccaneers - won, 20-14

Reason for optimism

Although they did quite well last week, the Panthers' offensive line is still facing a lot of questions after there was so much turnover in the offseason. I don't think they're necessarily in as rough shape as the New York Giants' O-line, but this could be another weakness that plays right into one of the Lions' biggest strengths. And considering Cam Newton is expected to return after missing Week 1 with a fractured rib, the last thing the Panthers need is for him to take a bunch of hits from the Lions' D-line.

Reason for pessimism

Despite Newton's absence last week, the Panthers went on the road and beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Panthers only ended up winning by 6 points, but they were in complete control for most of the game. This is a sign that perhaps some of the offseason concerns over their wide receivers and offensive line were a bit overblown, and it's a sign that their defense is still one of the most dominant in the league. This is going to be a much tougher test for the Lions than the Giants were on Monday night.

Storyline to watch

This game matches up a pair of teams looking to improve to 2-0. Yes, it's still very early in the season, but getting to 2-0 would be big for the Lions with the Green Bay Packers coming to town next week. Plus, with the NFC wild-card race expected to be so tightly contested, a win over a team like the Panthers could end up being a big deal for the Lions by the time the end of the season rolls around.

Additional info

For more on the Panthers, check out Cat Scratch Reader.

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