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Lions vs. Panthers: What Just Happened?

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A collection of thoughts on the Lions’ Week 11 win.

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

Man, it feels good to get a win, doesn’t it? After the Lions dropped three in a row, they did that thing where they beat a team they’re not supposed to beat again. It wasn’t pretty at all, but the Detroit Lions beat the Carolina Panthers 20-19 to improve to 4-6.

As always, I have thoughts on this game. These are those thoughts.

Practice in the snow forever

This week, we learned a lot about snow. Not only did we learn that it’s apparently safer than turf, we learned that snow creates Lions wins. So with that in mind, take those guys outside every day coach. This one is for you, Matt.

The defense somehow figured it out

Sort of. This was a much better outing for the Lions defense than it was in the past three weeks, most notably in the run game. Well, really everywhere, actually. The Lions held Christian McCaffrey to just 53 yards on the ground.

In the pass game, they allowed DJ Moore to get 157 yards and a touchdown. So like I said, sorta. What the Lions defense did do was get the right stops in the right moments. They also caught several breaks from Devin Funchess... four breaks, to be exact.

Don’t get it confused. This defense is still really bad. Seriously, who is Mike Ford? But despite how bad they’ve been, they still managed to do just enough to win this game.

Ziggy got a sack

The offense somehow didn’t lose this game for the Lions

Not everything can be happy time guys. I can’t figure out how this offense won this game without Marvin Jones Jr. for the entire game and without Kerryon Johnson for a half of football.

LeGarrette Blount continues to be the worst signing ever. He ran for 1 yard on seven carries on Sunday, that’s 0.1 yards per carry, by the way. They have no tight end to speak of and they blew it on too many drives. The kind of blowing it that would see them lose any other game.

Yet, somehow, the offensive line allowed just one sack and the Lions were able to get Kerryon Johnson going for much of the game before his injury. It’s pretty clear to me though that if Kerryon’s injury is something that goes into next week, the Lions are in trouble.

Kenny steps up in his spotlight game

This was supposed to be Kenny Golladay’s game on Sunday. With Marvin Jones out and Golden Tate playing for the Eagles now, it made perfect sense that Kenny was going to get the bulk of the targets, and he didn’t disappoint at all. Kenny grabbed eight catches for 113 yards and a spectacular game-winning touchdown.

Who knows where the rest of the season is going from here? We don’t know about Marvin Jones or Kerryon Johnson’s health right now. But I would bet that you can plan on seeing a lot more of Kenny Golladay doing things like this in 2018.

It was nice to see the old Stafford

Look at that Golladay catch above. It’s really pretty. But go back and look at that throw, too. That was the Matthew Stafford this team has been missing for a while. That old Stafford that shows off that incredible arm he has, instead of working on the classic Jim Bob Cooter bubble screen. If only Jim knew what he had, he’d stop with this madness and let Matthew be Matthew.

With that aside, Matthew continues to prove he’s not at all the problem here and never was. If that doesn’t explain it, let Dan-O tell you.

Where do we go from here?

Nobody wants to hear it right now, but this season is still not over yet. The Lions just got a massive win over an NFC team and still have NFC North rivals that have a string of tough games remaining. Bears still have the Rams, Vikings twice and the Packers. Vikings still have the Bears twice, Packers, Seahawks and Patriots. The Packers still have the Vikings, Falcons and Bears.

The Lions will have their chance at revenge over the Bears at home on Thanksgiving and then a game against the Rams. Then they’ll take on the Rams and have two very winnable games back-to-back against the Cardinals and Bills. If the Lions squeeze out four or five more wins, who knows what could happen? That’s all I’m saying.

As for right now, it’s been a while since Lions fans have had a chance to enjoy a victory. So I suggest that tonight you turn off the TV, open a bottle of wine, play this song, and see where the night goes, even if you’re alone.