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