Dave Birkett and Carlos Monarrez debate why the Lions should and should not tank the rest of the season, and preview Panthers game, Nov. 15, 2018.
Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press

Free Press sports writers and columnists predict Sunday’s game at Ford Field between the Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers.

Carlos Monarrez

Panthers 30, Lions 26: The Panthers are too dynamic on offense and they’ve been itching to atone for their 52-21 loss to Pittsburgh 10 days ago. The Lions’ offense will play better at home, but Matthew Stafford will throw at least one interception to Carolina, which has 11 on the season.

Tank, Lions! Time to root for losses, give Bob Quinn more ammo

Jeff Seidel

Panthers 31, Lions 21: When we last saw the Lions, they were a mess against Chicago. Now, here comes Carolina, well rested and raring to bounce back after the disaster against Pittsburgh. There’s no way the Lions fixed all their problems, practicing in the snow. But they should be in great shape if a snowball fight breaks out in Ford Field.

Birkett’s analysis: Lions vs. Panthers scouting report

Shawn Windsor

Panthers 26, Lions 16: If this game were to be played in snow, then we’d give the Lions the nod. But unfortunately for Detroit, the game will be played inside, where the lights will expose a scuffling team dealing with too many injuries.

Dave Birkett

Panthers 27, Lions 17: The Lions have lost three straight games by double digits, and even coming home for the first of three games at Ford Field, there’s little reason to believe a turnaround is in the works. They don’t stop the run well, don’t pressure the passer, can’t protect for Matthew Stafford and are a mess on special teams. If the Lions don’t get off to a good start Sunday, they’re bound to get booed lustily by the home crowd. Carolina runs the ball effectively and often, and they have the type of physical, aggressive defense that’s been tough for the Lions to handle. The Lions will get back in the win column eventually, but it won’t be this week.

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