This wasn't the way the Panthers wanted to start against the 0-9 Lions. Daunte Culpepper looked like the Daunte from about 2001 on his first drive -- scrambling and firing a 29-yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson to end the Lions' first drive. Johnson was left alone as the Panthers' safeties -- Chris Harris and Charles Godfrey -- either miscommunicated or simply didn't get there. Detroit also converted a fourth-and-1 on the drive when the Panthers jumped offsides.
Carolina then went 3 and out on its first possession, with both of Jake Delhomme's passes falling incomplete. On one, he got drilled as the Lions' Corey Smith beat Jordan Gross around the left side badly.
But the Panthers did just get their first really positive play of the day. Culpepper tried to throw over the deep middle on the first play of the Lions' second possession, and Carolina's Na'il Diggs intercepted it at the Carolina 40.
3 days ago