REPORT CARD VS. LIONS

WR Steve Smith had another good outing with five receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus -- Playing without Stephen Davis, the Panthers ran for 124 yards on 36 carries. DeShaun Foster had 76 yards on 21 carries and six catches for 38 yards, but he did have a fumble that was returned 62 yards for a touchdown. Rod Smart saw some action in the backfield, rushing for 24 yards on nine carries.

PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus -- Jake Delhomme played a solid game completing 29 of 36 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. His lone mistake came when he was intercepted after throwing deep into triple coverage. Muhsin Muhammad caught six passes for 69 yards before taking most of the fourth quarter off. Steve Smith had another good outing with five receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Dyson saw his first action of the season and caught two passes for 15 yards.

RUSH DEFENSE: A -- Despite playing without two starters on the defensive line, the Panthers held the league's worst rushing attack to 53 yards on 21 carries. Artose Pinner was the Lions leading rusher with 22 yards on 12 carries. Carolina should get defensive end Mike Rucker and Brentson Buckner back for the playoffs. Dan Morgan made if through the game without any dizziness.

PASS DEFENSE: A-plus -- The Panthers completely shut down the Lions passing game, holding quarterback Joey Harrington and Mike McMahon to a combined 53 yards passing on 7 of 19 completions. Az-Zahir Hakim was the Lions leading receiver with two catches for 9 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: D -- The Panthers allowed their first punt return for a touchdown when Reggie Swinton took one back 89 yards for a touchdown. Pro Bowl punter Todd Sauerbrun had a horrible day punting the ball with a gross average of 36.3 and a net of 6.7. On the positive side, John Kasay converted field goals of 44 and 42 yards.

COACHING: B -- The Panthers kept things fairly conservative and the decision to hold out five starters proved wise. You can see offensive coordinator Dan Henning is getting more confident in Delhomme as the season progresses, allowing him to do more things with the ball. It certainly wasn't the prettiest game of the year, but the Panthers did come out with a win. Still, this team needs to learn how to close out a game.


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