5 Key Matchups for Detroit Lions vs Carolina Panthers

1. LB Jarrad Davis vs QB Cam Newton

After missing the last two weeks, Davis will start for the Detroit Lions in the middle of the defense. This is a perfect time for Davis to come back from his neck injury and concussion.

Cam Newton is one of, if not the best, running quarterback in the NFL today, Davis will have to spy him often to make sure he does not make big plays with his feet.

2. CB Darius Slay vs WR Kelvin Benjamin

Slay will have an easier matchup this week compared to others so far this year. Benjamin has height and strength over Slay, but that’s where his advantages end. Slay so far this season has covered wide receivers like Odell Beckham Jr., Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones, and Stefon Diggs. Benjamin is not the same level of competition that those receivers are.

3. QB Matthew Stafford vs Carolina Secondary

So far this season, Stafford has faced many elite secondaries, this is not one of them. The Carolina Panthers have only one interception all year, and that came from star linebacker Luke Kuechly.

After facing Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu, Landon Collins, Eli Apple, Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, Desmond Trufant, Stafford should have a field day with this secondary.

4. RB Ameer Abdullah vs LB Luke Kuechly

Abdullah is coming off his best performance of the year. He fell only four-yards short of his first career 100-yard game. Kuechly might be the best middle linebacker in the entire NFL. Kuechly likes to drop back in coverage (he has the Panthers lone INT this year), however he also is very good at coming up and stopping the run. 

With Kuechly run-stopping ability and his coverage aptitude, Abdullah is going to have a very tough matchup on all three downs.

5. Lions Pass Rush vs Carolina OLine

The Panthers have allowed 12 sacks so far this season. The Lions need to put pressure on Newton while staying in there rushing lanes. Newton makes more big plays with his feet than his arm and keeping containment is paramount. 

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