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Saturday open thread: The Detroit Lions will beat the Carolina Panthers if...

Time to play a game.

Carolina Panthers v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

It’s desperate times in Detroit. The Lions are 3-6 with little chance to make the postseason. As a result, the fanbase is collectively devouring itself over outdoor practices, Eric Ebron popping off in Indianapolis and radio debates over trading the most valuable piece of the Lions roster away—even though it’s financially impossible.

It’s a tough time for Lions fans, who have waited decades just for a stupid playoff win. And to fall from a relevant team on a yearly basis to just another team whose season is over before Thanksgiving is a painful step back.

So let’s try to keep things a little light this Saturday. Today’s Question of the Day is:

The Detroit Lions will beat the Carolina Panthers if...

My answer: While I fully expect a ton of cynical answers (ie: “hell freezes over,” “hell freezes over and Matt Patricia makes the Lions practice there”), I’ll answer this one seriously.

The only way I see the Lions coming out victorious is if Matthew Stafford pops off. As I mentioned in my On Paper preview, the Panthers have struggled to defend the pass this year, and they’re coming off a performance in which they allowed Ben Roethlisberger to finish with a perfect passer rating.

Unfortunately, the Lions are going to be shorthanded offensively. Marvin Jones Jr. is out with a knee injury and last time I checked, Golden Tate was still traded away. So it’s going to be completely on Stafford’s shoulders to elevate the likes of Bruce Ellington, TJ Jones, Luke Willson and maybe even Brandon Powell on Sunday.

Considering his level of play lately—and the inconsistent play of his offensive line—it’s a tall task for Stafford. If he pulls it off, it won’t save the Lions’ season, but it will give him a nice feather in his cap as the frustration surrounding his play continues to mount.

Your turn.