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Three takeaways from Lions' loss to Panthers

Here are three things that jumped out to me on Sunday during the Detroit Lions' loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Grant Halverson

The Detroit Lions lost to the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24-7 on Sunday. Here are my three main takeaways from the game:

The Lions are still struggling with finishing drives

Being unable to consistently finish drives with points was a huge issue for the Lions last season, and it was an issue again on Sunday. Three of the Lions' first four drives on Sunday ended without a punt, yet none of them produced points. The Lions missed two 49-yard field goals and also fumbled the ball away to the Panthers early in the game, and in the process they missed out on a major opportunity to take control of this game when Carolina was struggling to get things going on offense.

Right tackle is a major concern going forward

With LaAdrian Waddle sidelined with a calf injury and Corey Hilliard out for the season with a foot injury, the Lions had to turn to Garrett Reynolds at right tackle on Sunday. Considering he has mainly been a guard and was just re-signed this week, it's no surprise that he didn't play particularly well, nor did undrafted rookie Cornelius Lucas when he got into the game for a couple drives.

It's unclear how long Waddle is going to be out, but the Reynolds/Lucas combo is not the answer at right tackle. The Lions averaged just 3.9 yards a carry, and Matthew Stafford was sacked four times against Carolina. That's not all on the right tackle spot, of course, but that was consistently the weak link in the Lions' O-line.

There's no need to panic just yet

It was disappointing to see the Lions lose in such sloppy fashion, but keep in mind that the Panthers are a good team. They went 12-4 last season, so it's not like the Lions were handled by some last-place team, and it's not like they lost at home, either. It's clear the Lions still have a lot of work to do, but being 1-1 isn't the end of the world by any means.

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