Panthers hold on to beat Lions, improve to 4-1

AP

Yes, Cam Newton was very good again. But the Panthers defense was great again.

Carolina claimed its second straight impressive road win, beating Detroit 27-24 to improve to 4-1. Coming on the heels of last week’s win at New England, it’s quite a stretch for the Panthers, who had struggled offensively even as they were winning early.

But they didn’t need to do that much Sunday, limiting the Lions (3-2) to 242 yards. They sacked Matt Stafford six times, and held him to just 229 yards through the air.

Stafford did the obligatory Stafford comeback, with a pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes. But the Panthers were able to take care of the lead, with Kelvin Benjamin‘s third-down conversion allowing them to kneel out the clock.

Panthers tight end Ed Dickson, playing for the injured Greg Olsen, did his best Olsen impersonation.

Dickson finished with five catches for 175 yards. In his previous three seasons with the Panthers, he had 115, 121, and 134 receiving yards. So that’s a lot.

He was part of an efficient passing day for Newton, who also hit wide receivers Devin Funchess and Kelvin Benjamin for touchdowns, along with running back Christian McCaffrey.

Newton was 26-of-33 for 355 yards, which translated to a 141.8 passer rating.