PFF Preview: Lions @ Panthers, Week 2
The Detroit Lions will be heading into Charlotte to take on the Panthers in their home opener for Week 2.
The Panthers’ Defense has a tall task ahead of them taking on the red hot Matthew Stafford and the Detroit passing offense. Stafford posted a gaudy +7.1 overall rating in the opener, the second-highest grade he’s recorded since entering the league. Although starting right tackle LaAdrian Waddle was injured against the Giants, Corey Hilliard filled in with a +1.6 mark to lead the Lions’ pass-blocking charge. Calvin Johnson also comes in strong, ranking sixth in the league in WR Rating after one week; passes his way producing a 146.8 passer rating (up from 93.0 in 2013).
The Panthers come well equipped to defend the pass with their two outstanding linebackers and a pair of corners (including rookie slot CB Bené Benwikere) finishing with green grades in coverage against the Bucs last week. Up front, second-year defensive tackle Kawann Short continued his development with the best overall rating +5.3 in his young career coming in Week 1. Part of that was from a team-leading +2.0 pass-rushing grade in a game where 11 different Carolina defenders recorded some form of pressure on the QB.
Here are three more notable numbers for each side:
Ndamukong Suh – Had a monster game against the run in Week 1. 19 snaps of run defense yielded three stops and a +3.4 rating.
Ezekiel Ansah – Finished tied for first last week in Pass Rush Productivity among 4-3 DEs as he recorded five total pressures including a sack and three QB hits in 23 pass rush attempts. It was Ansah’s first game with at least five total pressures.
Joique Bell – Ran at his best off of the right side of the TE: forced two missed tackles, averaged 4.3 yards per carry on six carries, and scored his TD.
Luke Kuechly – Last year’s DPOY displayed his dominance Week 1 with a +5.5 overall grade while finishing positively in every category. Had a stat line of five stops, a sack, a pass defensed that led to a pick, and the game-sealing forced fumble.
Kelvin Benjamin – Among WRs with at least eight targets in Week 1, Benjamin finished ahead of Calvin Johnson with a 152.1 WR Rating while scoring a TD. Caught passes against five different defenders.
Byron Bell – Bell performed nicely against the pass rush in his first regular season game as a left tackle with a +2.2 mark and a clean sheet as a pass protector.
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