Detroit vs Carolina: Sunday Skinny

Detroit needs a win here. They have more talent than Carolina, and as long as the defensive line does not have a repeat performance of last week, Detroit should be fine on both sides of the ball. Also inside: Players To Watch, Storylines of the Week, Key Injuries and more!

Players to watch for Detroit
Az-zahir Hakim: Had 9 catches for 97 yards against the 'Fins last week, career highs.
Mikhael Ricks: Had 3 catches for 68 yards, including a reception that went for over 40 yards.
James Stewart: Did not play last week. Detroit needs a running game, he's the only one who can provide it.
The defensive line: Allowed 111 rush yards last week from Ricky Williams, needs to toughen up, fast.

Players to watch for Carolina
Lamar Smith: Has averaged 136.5 yards a game (4.8 YPC) vs. Detroit in only two meetings, with 3TD's.
Mushin Muhammed: Still has the ability to be a concern for defenses, although not lately.

Storylines of the Week
Marty Mornhinweg needs to prepare his team for an important game. If they lose, all eyes will be on him.
Rodney Peete: Although he didn't throw the ball much last week, the former Lions QB has good numbers, (12-19, 136 yards, a TD and a rating of 102.1) No doubt he'll want to beat his former team, and if he does it will  make a loss all that more difficult to swallow.

Weather Forecast
Partly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers, lows in the mid 60's, highs in the upper 70's.

Key Injuries
Detroit
Out: OLB Clint Kriewaldt (foot)
Questionable: DT Luther Elliss (deep thigh bruise)
Probable: RB James Stewart (knee) C Eric Beverly (calf)

Carolina
Out: RB DeShaun Foster (knee) DE Kemp Rasmussen (unknown)

The Bottom Line
Detroit needs a win here. They have more talent than Carolina, and as long as the defensive line does not have a repeat performance of last week, Detroit should be fine on both sides of the ball. WR Bill Schroeder needs a solid performance to get himself out the doghouse and prove his worth, and RB James Stewart needs to get a stagnant Detroit running game going. If that happens, Detroit will roll on to a victory, have a .500 record, and some confidence. But of course, it won't be easy.


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