Week 6 Game Recap: Carolina Panthers 21, Detroit Lions 20
What you need to know
Jake Delhomme did as much to keep Detroit in the game as he did to keep the Panthers in the game. Four of the five touchdowns scored were directly related to him. He threw two touchdowns, one a four yard pass to Rod Gardner in the first quarter. The second an 80 yard pass to Steve Smith. The other touchdowns were scored by the Lions who returned two interceptions for scores. Delhomme left the game late in the fourth quarter, he was running with the ball and slid, but was hit hard by Kenoy Kennedy. Chris Weinke came in for him and completed five out seven passes, the last a three yard touchdown pass to Ricky Proehl that sealed the Panthers’ victory.
Steve Smith was Delhomme’s favorite target once again, receiving ten targets. He finished with six receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. Kenoy Kennedy missed the tackle on him, and Smith outran the rest of the Lions for the 80 yard score, a career long for him. Ricky Proehl was quiet until the last drive of the game when Chris Weinke targeted him six times. Proehl made five receptions and scored a three yard touchdown that won the game for the Panthers. It looked like Keary Colbert was going to play a more significant role in the offense during the first drive of the game; when he made three receptions for 53 yards. He fumbled and lost his last catch and was not seen again.
The rushing game of the Panthers, like that of the Lions, left much to be desired. Neither team could get anything going on the ground. Stephen Davis had 13 carries for 27 yards, though he did have a 21 yard gain called back with a holding penalty against Rod Gardner. DeShaun Foster did not play in the game. And Nick Goings was used later and added four carries for 15 yards.
The Detroit Lions’ defense was what kept this game close. Two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the first half by Boss Bailey and Kenoy Kennedy were the only touchdowns scored by the Lions. Delhomme was intercepted a third time by Dre Bly. And Terrence Holt recovered Keary Colbert’s fumble in the first quarter.
Joey Harrington was forced to check down to his running backs and his tight ends throughout the game. 86 of his 201 passing yards came on a short pass to Marcus Pollard that Pollard ran down the sidelines for the long gain. Pollard was the leading receiver for the Lions with 3 receptions for 105 yards.
The Lions’ wide receivers were fairly nonexistent. Charles Rogers was out serving his suspension and Roy Williams was out with a quad strain, and their loss was felt in the offense. Mike Williams was still suffering from a sore back and only made two receptions for 27 yards. Harrington was forced to rely on Kevin Johnson, Scott Vines, and Glenn Martinez. It was a dismal outing for the group who combined for seven receptions for 63 yards.
Like the receiving game, the rushing game also faltered as well. Kevin Jones did have some good runs against the Panthers early on, but left the game for a quarter with a sore shoulder. His longest run after returning was only for five yards and he finished with 12 carries for 21 yards. Artose Pinner and Shawn Bryson were used interchangeably when Jones was not in the game and they combined for nine carries for 19 yards.
What you ought to know
|QB Jake Delhomme, Pass: 15 - 25 - 236 - 2 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0|
Delhomme has thrown a touchdown pass in 17 consecutive road games. He completed a four yard touchdown pass to Rod Gardner. Delhomme was intercepted three times and two of the interceptions were returned by the Lions for touchdowns. The first was a high pass intended for Kris Mangum. The very next pass he threw was his second touchdown an 80 yard pass to Steve Smith. Delhomme’s second interception was a pass he overthrew intended for Ricky Proehl, it was returned for the Lions’ second score of the game. Delhomme threw a third interception in the third quarter on a pass in the end zone intended for Steve Smith. Delhomme had a good drive going in the fourth quarter, he completed five out of five passes for 57 yards but it was stalled near the end with three rushing plays for gains of only two yards. The Panthers decided to go for it on fourth and one at the Detroit four yard line rather than attempt a field goal. Delhomme carried the ball but was stopped for no gain. Late in the fourth quarter, Delhomme ran to gain five yards, but took a shot to the head from Kenoy Kennedy on his slide. He was injured and did not return to the game. Coach John Fox said the injury was not serious.
|QB Chris Weinke, Pass: 5 - 7 - 47 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 0 - 0|
Weinke came in for Delhomme in the fourth quarter and led the Panthers on a scoring drive that won the game for them. Weinke keyed in on Ricky Proehl, six of his seven passing attempts were to Proehl. The last was the three yard touchdown pass that won the game for Carolina.
Davis made a seven yard gain in the first quarter. He had a 21 yard run in the third quarter, but it was called back with a holding penalty on Rod Gardner. He was generally held to very minimal gains by the Lions’ defense as he finished with only 27 yards on his 13 carries. Davis tackled Terrence Holt after his fumble recovery, keeping him out of the end zone and what would have made three defensive touchdowns.
|RB Nick Goings, Rush: 4 - 15 - 0, Rec: 2 - 25 - 0 (3 targets)|
Goings was stopped for no gain on his first carry of the game in the third quarter. Goings had a 12 yard carry brought back with a delay of game penalty. He made a 14 yard screen catch on the next play, but it was not enough to gain a first down. Goings made an 11 yard reception to start the Panthers’ game winning drive in the fourth quarter.
Robertson made a ten yard reception in the second quarter. He fumbled the ball two plays later, but it was recovered by Steve Smith. Robertson had a goal line carry during the Panthers’ final drive of the game.
Foster did not play in the game.
Once again Steve Smith was the favorite target of Jake Delhomme, seeing ten of his 25 passing attempts. He made his longest career touchdown reception in the second quarter of play. It was a sharp pass over the middle and poor tackling by the Lions freed him up and he outran the rest of the Lions’ defenders. Later in the game, Smith had a lateral pass go right through his hands.
Proehl was the target of Delhomme’s second interception. He was targeted deep in the third quarter, but the ball was overthrown. Proehl made his first catch in the fourth quarter. He was a big part of the Carolina game winning drive, making five of the six passes that came his way, culminating with a three yard touchdown catch.
Gardner made a four yard touchdown reception near the end of the first quarter. He was called for two penalties in the third quarter, one that negated Stephen Davis’ 21 yard run.
Colbert made three receptions during the opening drive for the Panthers. They were the only looks that he received in the game. The first was a beautiful 42 yard reception, leaping up at the sidelines to make the catch. He made a five yard reception for a third down conversion. But he was hit hard on his third catch and fumbled the ball and it was recovered by the Lions.
Seidman was targeted and had a pass broken up in the first quarter. He made a three yard reception that would have converted a third down, but Rod Gardner was called for pass interference and the play did not count.
Mangum was targeted on Delhomme’s first interception.
Kasay had a 52 yard field goal attempt blocked. He made all three of his extra point attempts.
The Lions rushing corps were held to a total of 52 yards. And that was between four rushers, including Joey Harrington who contributed 12 yards. Julius Peppers and Dan Morgan worked together to sack Joey Harrington during the first drive of the game. Harrington was sacked a total of six times. Peppers forced Joey Harrington’s fumble and it was recovered by Kindal Moorehead. Peppers left the game in the second quarter for an x ray on his right hand and he did not return.
The Panthers got pressure on Joey Harrington, which does not seem a very hard thing to do for defenses. He had a couple of successful drives, but was pressured and forced to check down to his running backs frequently. And the Lions’ wide receivers only accounted for 63 of his passing yards. The only time in the game that the Panthers were beaten by the passing game of the Lions was on Harrington’s 80 yard pass to Marcus Pollard. Ken Lucas intercepted Joey Harrington in the third quarter.
Harrington went back to pass and was sacked and fumbled the ball twice in the game, once in the first quarter a second time in the second quarter. Harrington did not often look to his receivers and was forced to check down to Bryson and Pinner throughout the game. Harrington threw an interception in the third quarter. He had a good drive completing four out of six passes in the third quarter that ended with a field goal. Harrington made a short pass to Marcus Pollard who outran the Panthers for 86 yards until he was stopped by Mike Minter. But then in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Harrington fell apart. Over the course of two drives was sacked and then threw four straight incompletions to end the game.
|RB Kevin Jones, Rush: 12 - 21 - 0, Rec: 2 - 3 - 0 (3 targets)|
Jones made good gains against the Panthers’ defense until he injured his shoulder and did not return to the game until the third quarter. He was the leading rusher for the Lions with his 12 rushes for 21 yards.
|RB Shawn Bryson, Rush: 5 - 12 - 0, Rec: 2 - 9 - 0 (2 targets)|
Bryson had a four yard carry brought back with an offensive holding call against Marcus Pollard.
Pinner made a 13 yard screen catch in the second quarter. He was used minimally in the rushing game and added seven yards on his four carries.
Smith made a four yard reception during the Lions’ first drive.
Johnson made a nine yard reception over the middle for a third down conversion in the second quarter. Johnson was the target on Harrington’s interception. Johnson made a five yard reception.
Williams was called for a false start penalty in the third quarter. In the third quarter, Williams made a nice 13 yard catch and broke a tackle to gain some yards, but he fumbled and Carolina recovered the ball. He made a 13 yard reception over the middle in the third quarter. He left the field in pain after the catch.
Vines made a 13 yard reception to start the game for the Lions.
Martinez was not targeted until the final drive of the game for the Lions. He dropped a ball that came to him right on the numbers at the sidelines.
Rogers was not active in the game as he is still serving his suspension.
Williams was not active in the game with a quad strain.
Pollard was the leading receiver for the Lions with his 3 receptions for 105 yards. He made a six yard reception to gain a first down for the Lions on their opening drive. He had a pass go through his hands near the end of the first half. Pollard made a 13 yard reception in the third quarter. Pollard made a great 86 yard reception in the fourth quarter that set up Jason Hanson’s second field goal. It was a short catch and Pollard outran most of the Panthers’ defenders until he was stopped by Mike Minter.
Fitzsimmons was targeted in the third quarter. He made a four yard reception for a fourth down conversion on the drive that finished with Jason Hanson’s 52 yard field goal.
Hanson had a 47 yard field goal attempt blocked in the first quarter. He made a 52 yard field goal in the third quarter and a 25 yard field goal in the fourth quarter. He also made both of his extra point attempts.
The Lions got good pressure against the run game of the Panthers. Stephen Davis’ longest carry of the game was only for seven yards. And the Panthers only rushed for a total of 54 yards. Delhomme was sacked two times.
The Detroit Lions’ pass defense was what kept them in this game; and scored the only touchdowns in the game for the Lions. Boss Bailey jumped up to intercept Jake Delhomme and returned it for a touchdown. Kenoy Kennedy returned a second interception for a touchdown. Delhomme was intercepted a third time by Dre Bly. Terrence Holt recovered Keary Colbert’s fumble.