Lions' Playoff Chances Diminished in 20-0 Shutout Loss to Carolina Panthers

John Maakaron

The Detroit Lions arrived at Bank of America Stadium for their Week 11 matchup with the Carolina Panthers as an injury-riddled football team.

XFL standout quarterback P.J. Walker, making his first career start in the NFL, led the Panthers to a 20-0 victory over Detroit.

On Carolina's second offensive drive of the game, Walker found wide receiver DJ Moore for a 52-yard reception, beating rookie cornerback Jeff Okudah down the field.  

Carolina running back Mike Davis capped off the 10-play, 95-yard scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown run. 

Detroit could ill-afford unforced errors on the road, but an errant snap from the usually reliable Frank Ragnow could not be recovered. Carolina proceeded to recover the Matthew Stafford fumble.

Luckily, cornerback Amani Oruwariye, who has been Detroit's best defensive back this season, intercepted Walker to bail out Detroit's offense. 

The offense struggled mightily, and could not get anything going in the first half, as Stafford & Co. were shut out through the first two quarters. 

Stafford's injury certainly played a part in the play-calling of offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, as Detroit did not take many chances deep in the first half.

© Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
© Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina held Detroit's offense to 89 net yards and only 35 yards rushing, and took a 7-0 lead into halftime. 

Walker extended Carolina's lead to 14-0 on the team's first offensive possession of the second half. 

Walker's touchdown pass to wideout Curtis Samuel was the first of his NFL career.

Detroit's struggles on offense continued in the third quarter. 

On their next offensive possession, Stafford and the offense finally recorded a big play. 

But, like all too often this season, the touchdown pass to Marvin Jones Jr. was called back, because of an illegal formation penalty, and Detroit was forced to punt.

Seemingly nothing went right for the Lions in Carolina. 

Despite winning the turnover battle, Detroit could not capitalize on two interceptions thrown by Walker deep in the red zone.

Detroit was shut out through the first three quarters for the first time since Dec. 8, 2019.

Matt Prater, who did not miss a kick last week, missed from 51 yards out, with Detroit trailing, 17-0. 

The shutdown loss was the first time Detroit failed to score a single point in a game since the 2009 season.

With the loss, Detroit falls to 4-6, and will return home to face the Houstons Texans in just four days on Thanksgiving.

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