The Panthers have not played a perfect half, but they’re up 17-10 on the road over the Lions, and showing signs they know how to play offense.
Though they respected the flag by committing enough penalties for seven to fly so far (they had the fewest in the league entering the game, 13 in four games), but have overcome.
Cam Newton has come through a week of self-inflicted #distraction to play a nearly spotless first half, as he’s 15-of-17 passing for 237 yards and two touchdowns.
Tight end Ed Dickson has four catches for 152 yards so far, more than he’s gained in each of his other three seasons with the Panthers.
Newton’s last touchdown pass, to wide receiver Devin Funchess, gave them a touchdown lead at the break, and their defense has kept Matt Stafford largely in check, limiting the Lions to 109 yards in the first half.
For all the noise around them this week, they’re 3-1, and if they can hang onto another road win after beating the Patriots at their place last week, they’ll have to be taken seriously in the NFC.