American Football

Lions vs. Panthers: Live score updates, highlights, latest injury news, more


NFL: Detroit Lions at New York Jets
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

We’re providing live updates from Lions vs. Panthers, including up-to-the-minute scores updates, highlights and drive-by-drive analysis.

Another day, another Detroit Lions game with high stakes. The Lions have been in must-win territory for the past month now, which is a nice change of pace from the typical draft pick chase we’re typically accustomed to in December. But it’s also extremely stressful.

Take the stakes for this week’s game between the Lions and Carolina Panthers. If the Lions win the game, their playoff odds shoot up to 61 percent (per FiveThirtyEight)—the first time all year they will be above 50 percent. If they lose, however, those odds plummet all the way down to 19 percent. So just a mere 42 playoff odds percentage on the line. No big deal.

The Panthers, too, have a lot on the line. Though their playoff odds remain fairly long right now at 20 percent, the difference between a win (31 percent) and a loss (nine percent) changes the entire perspective of their remaining two games.

Both the Lions and Panthers are playing some of the best football they have all season, but with Detroit’s current 6-1 stretch, they’re headed into Christmas Eve as a 2.5-point favorites over the Carolina. Can the Lions keep their hot streak going and push their playoff odds from “impossible” a couple months ago to “probable”? Or will Detroit suffer a let-down game and have to get a ton of help to continue their postseason run?

We’ll be providing live coverage of the game in this post with score update, drive-by-drive analysis, injury news and the best highlights. Just hang out in this post, hit refresh button once the game gets underway, and enjoy!

We’ll see you at kickoff!

First quarter

The Lions won the coin toss and deferred, giving the Panthers the ball first. Carolina got off to a promising start with a 30 yard run from Chuba Hubbard around the left end. He followed it up with a 35-yard run on the next play, and the Panthers were already in the red zone. A few plays later, quarterback Sam Darnold ran the option, pitched it to Raheem Blackshear, and the Panthers scored after just five rushing plays. 7-0 Panthers.

The ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, giving the Lions offense good starting position at their own 40-yard line. After two incomplete passes, Jared Goff went deep to DJ Chark, who caught a contested catch for a big 39-yard gain.

From there, the Lions picked up another clutch third down with a 13-yard gain to Amon-Ra St. Brown that set the Lions up first-and-goal. The Lions quickly cashed in with a play action touchdown pass to Shane Zylstra. 7-7 tie.

The Panthers rushing game continued to soar against the Lions defense. D’Onta Foreman blasted for 21 yards on the first rush of the next drive. A false start and a tackle for loss from Alim McNeill forced the Panthers into a third-and-6 at midfield, but Ian Thomas dropped a potential first down (that would’ve been called back due to a penalty). Carolina punted to Detroit’s 9-yard line.

Detroit got out of their own end zone with a second-down pass to rookie James Mitchell that went for 22 yards. Then Goff completed a pass to his third different tight end with Brock Wright getting Detroit to midfield with an 11-yard gain. St. Brown held onto a tough catch for another 19 yards down to the Panthers’ 34-yard line.

That catch pushed Amon-Ra St. Brown beyond 1,000 yards, becoming the youngest Lions player to ever do so.

The Lions got themselves into another tricky situation: fourth-and-1 from the Panthers’ 22-yard line, and Detroit picked it up with Jamaal Williams pushing forward for 2 yards and into the red zone. The Lions were driving as the first quarter came to a close.

Second quarter

Kalif Raymond got the Lions into a goal-to-go situation with a nifty end around play, but it was all for naught. Goff fumbled the next snap exchange and Panthers defender Yetur Gross-Matos recovered at his own 9-yard line.

The Lions defense continued to struggle. A play action pass to Tommy Tremble immediately picked up 18 yards for Carolina. Then Foreman broke a couple tackles for another explosive run, this time for 38 yards. They pushed down inside the 5-yard line with an option run from Darnold. He did it again two plays later for a 3-yard touchdown run and a 14-7 Panthers lead.

Detroit quickly went three-and-out, as back-to-back Goff passes were batted down at the line.

A holding penalty on the punt set the Panthers back inside their own 10-yard line, but it didn’t matter much. Darnold hit Terrace Marshall Jr. for a 36-yard strike with Jerry Jacobs in tight coverage to move towards midfield. Foreman followed it up with a 21-yard run and just like that the Panthers were in scoring position again. A fourth-and-inches quarterback sneak kept the drive alive. A few plays later, Foreman punched it in for a 4-yard touchdown. 21-7 Panthers.

Detroit had two minutes to cut it back to a one-score game. Instead, they went three-and-out again, giving the Panthers 59 seconds left to add to their lead. Another explosive play on the ground—a 33-yard gain from Hubbard—quickly got Carolina to midfield. A penalty on each team kept the Panthers out of the end zone, but they got close enough to tack on a field goal and go to halftime with a 24-7 Panthers lead.

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