The Carolina Panthers are coming off their best win of the season against the New England Patriots in Foxbourough to improve to 3-1 on the young season. But now week 5 doesn't get any easier, in fact maybe even tougher.
The Panthers are set to visit the Detroit Lions (1 pm EST) in what could be a very high-scoring affair. But Carolina will have to take care of the ball, considering the Lions are tied first in the league with takeaways (11) and points off turnovers (47).
A major focal point of this matchup is the depth at safety for the Panthers, as Kurt Coleman is still expected to miss the next 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL. It will now be up to new faces such as safety Jairus Byrd (recently signed former pro-bowler with the Saints) and rookie Demetrious Cox who hope to fill the void.
It's a tough ask from Coach Ron Rivera though, as Matthew Stafford hasn't thrown an interception in his last 137 attempts. But with Julius Peppers active in this matchup, paired with both Thomas Davis and Luke Kuechly, the talent is there to stop Stafford from lighting up the scoreboard.
Keep an eye out of For Cam Newton to rush the ball more this matchup, as he ran the rock 8 times week 4, compared to 13 total rushes in the first 3 weeks.
We can all look at the mathcup on paper, and claim we know which players will breakout or which team will be more efficient, but as we saw back in week 4 with the Panthers, don't count out a team that seems to be slowly finding their identity.
Be sure to catch the full highlights on WFMY News 2, your triad home of the Carolina Panthers.