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Lions vs. Panthers preview: 4 Qs with Cat Scratch Reader

Getting to know the other cat team

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

4-5 is exactly where you thought the Lions would be now, right? It’s hard to contemplate, but there is a chance the Lions could enter their Thanksgiving day showdown with the Houston Texans with a .500 record. All they have to do is beat this other cat team.

In theory, it shouldn’t be too difficult. The Panthers will be without their all world running back Christian McCaffrey and maybe their starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Again in theory, it should be advantage Lions. Sadly the Lions have plenty of issues of their own. They’ll more than likely be missing Kenny Golladay and their rising star of a running back D’Andre Swift. Then there’s the issue that I can’t tell you right here and now that Matthew Stafford will for sure play.

What I can for sure tell you is that this game is probably going to be chock full of ugly football. The Lions have been ugly all year long. You’ve seen as much if you’ve tuned in every Sunday. But you haven’t had the chance to see how ugly the Panthers are. That’s why we brought in our pal Walker Clement from Cat Scratch Reader to fill us in on the ugliness. Here’s what he had to say.

How bad is this game going to be?

“Have you ever seen The Lost World: Jurassic Park? It’s the much reviled sequel to the classic Jurassic Park and one of Steven Spielberg’s more intentionally forgotten works. It’s OK if you haven’t seen it, honesty given the franchise and the director, the fact that you might not have seen it or remember it tells you all you need to know. 2020 feels about as coherent and well organized as that film, and at this point in the season, a pre-Thanksgiving Panthers-Lions match is basically the part of The Lost World where the movie is wandering around San Diego with dinosaurs. Nobody knows why we’re here, nobody remembers that Vince Vaughn was in this movie earlier because he died three nonsensical plot twists ago, but somebody clearly thought this would be a good idea and spent a whole lot of money making it a reality.”

What’s the consensus on Teddy Bridgewater status for Sunday?

“The consensus is that the Lions will probably have a cakewalk on their hands if Bridgewater can’t go. In the long standing spirit of NFL teams being overly coy with injuries, the Panthers aren’t likely to reveal if Bridgewater is playing until the first or second snap of the game. The good news for y’all is that the Panthers are still plenty banged up even if ol’ Teddy Throwsevelt can find both of his gloves in time for Sunday. They’re currently trending to be without Christian McCaffrey, left tackle Russell Okung, right guard John Miller, and number one corner Donte Jackson. The left tackle rotation during Okung’s extended absence has left quite a bit to be desired and the Panthers may be best served letting Bridgewater continue to recover until Okung can play again.”

If a Lion and A Panther got in a fight, who would win? And why is it a Lion?

“What an odd question. The Carolina Panthers mascot, Sir Purr, is a bear.

But, I’ll humor you with an answer, anyway. There are thousands of stories in human history that tell of the few defeating the many, the good guys overcoming the Nazis, and the strong defending the weak. In every fight, the so-called winners and losers all have one thing in common: their humanity. This is at the very core of every winning tradition as it is at the core of every underdog story. That is key for this question because neither Lions nor Panthers have a winning tradition, but one of them must ultimately triumph. While they lack a common humanity, on account of neither animal being human, they do share a common genus, along with tigers, jaguars, and leopards: Panthera. You might think that gives panthers the edge, given their nomenclature is clearly dominant in the genus. But it does not, as that logic would completely disregard the fact that there is no ‘panther’ species, since that is merely the common name for the melanistic variant of either jaguars or leopards (depending on your continent).

Thus, we are forced to consider the fact that what you are really asking is *can* one win a fight against one’s own family? Against one’s own self? The answer, of course, is no. And yet the question will be asked again and again until the end of time. These fights never end, time only passes through them. Future generations pick them up and the process repeats. That is how we find ourselves here, at this very moment, wishing we had just decided to watch The Lost World again instead of reading a blog that was supposed to be about football.”

Who’s winning this thing?

“Clearly not Steven Spielberg. As for the teams that will actually be on the field, I’d give the Lions a 75% chance to win. It’s a toss up if Bridgewater plays and a surefire win for Detroit if he doesn’t.”