For the first time this season, the Carolina Panthers have lost two straight games. Following a 52-21 beatdown at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10, the Panthers lost to the Detroit Lions by a 20-19 final on Sunday.
Both losses came on the road, but in much different ways. While Pittsburgh dominated the Panthers on both sides of the ball, Sunday’s loss to the Lions was a game that Carolina very easily could — and should — have won.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, kicker Graham Gano had his worst game of the season with a missed 34-yard field goal and a missed extra point. It was Gano’s third missed extra point of the year, but his first missed field goal since Carolina’s 27-24 win over Detroit on Oct. 8, 2017.
Wide receiver Devin Funchess also struggled in the Week 11 loss, dropping four passes and catching only two of eight targets. The fourth-year pro is averaging just three catches for 35.5 yards over the past four weeks, but in terms of drops, Sunday’s contest was his worst performance of 2018.
The Panthers struggled in other areas as well, and as a result their chances to win the NFC South continue to decrease. Carolina is now 6-4 on the season and three games behind the division-leading New Orleans Saints, who are 9-1 and have won nine straight contests since losing their season opener.
At this point, the Panthers are going to have to really turn things around if they hope to qualify for the playoffs. But first, it’s time to look back at Sunday’s loss.
Here are three takeaways from the Panthers’ Week 11 defeat in Detroit.
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