Panthers vs Lions: Game Pick – A battle of the 3-1’s

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01: Cam Newton
FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 01: Cam Newton /

Two of the top teams in the NFC face off as the 3-1 Detroit Lions play host to the 3-1 Carolina Panthers in week 5. Here is the pick for Panthers vs Lions.

The Carolina Panthers got a huge win on the road in week 4 over the New England Patriots.  Quarterback Cam Newton had his best game of the season, but how will and off the field distraction play into Panthers vs Lions this week?

Newton got into some hot water when he laughingly questioned why a female reporter asked him about Panthers receivers route running?  A firestorm of controversy ensued as Newton lost sponsors and generated all kinds of criticism.

Although he gave a heartfelt apology, the incident has taken away from the positive momentum the Panthers had coming out of the win over the Patriots.  And the Detroit Lions are sitting waiting to pounce at home as they too got a big win on the road over NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings.

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Defensively, both teams are good against the run, so with quarterbacks like the Lions’ Matthew Stafford and Newton, each team could have success through the air.  But was Cam’s success last week a real breakthrough or as a result of the Patriots last place defense?

In spite of the controversy, I expect Cam Newton to still play well.  However, the Lions defense is a bigger challenge than what the Panthers saw in week 4.  I don’t expect a high scoring game.  The defenses will set the tone and the contest will be decided on turnovers and on third downs.

Matthew Stafford had played consistently well this season and I like the way the Lions defense is creating turnovers.  That’s why I expect the Lions to win.  When the game is on the line, I think he will make the plays between the two quarterbacks.  Lions win at home.

Next: Seahawks vs Rams: Game Pick – NFC West rivals clash

Winner:  Lions

Score prediction:  23-20 Lions

Points spread:  Lions -2.5

Over/under:  42.5 – Over