Panthers vs. Lions post-game notes

The Panthers escaped with a 21-20 win over the Lions despite turning the ball over four times. Jake Delhomme threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. But for the third straight week, the Panthers needed a big play late in the game to pull out the win against a sub-par opponent.

When asked after the game if this were Carolina's new formula for victory, coach John Fox laughed and shook his head.

"No, my cholesterol level is going to have to get a lot better and I'm going to have to start working out a lot more if we're going to do this the rest of the season," Fox joked. "No that's not by design, trust me."

Carolina's defense was outstanding all day.

Take away an 86-yard Marcus Pollard pass play and the Lions were held to 124 yards on 57 offensive plays, slightly more than 2 yards per play. Their second-longest pass play went for 14 yards; the longest run 8 yards.

The Panthers defense forced four turnovers -- three on fumbles -- and sacked Joey Harrington six times. That, despite the fact they lost Pro Bowl linebacker Dan Morgan to a shoulder injury in the third quarter. Prior to that, Morgan had 13 tackles and had been in on two sacks.


--CB Ken Lucas continues to have a Pro Bowl-type season. He has rarely given up a pass and came up with another interception Sunday against Detroit.

--QB Jake Delhomme left the Detroit game after taking a blow to his head. It's likely he suffered a concussion.

--RB DeShaun Foster did not play against Detroit because of a knee injury.

--WR Steve Smith has had four 100-yard receiving games and has seven touchdowns through five games. Smith said last week his goal is to catch at least 100 passes and break all of his own personal records this season.

--RB Stephen Davis was largely ineffective against Detroit without FB Brad Hoover in the lineup. Davis had 27 yards on 12 carries.

--LB Dan Morgan, who is injury prone, hurt his shoulder against Detroit and was carted off the field. The extent of the injury was not clear.

--DE Mike Rucker had 1.5 sacks against Detroit. The Panthers had six total sacks.

--SS Kenoy Kennedy lived up to his heavy-hitter reputation with 10 solo tackles and two assists, in addition to a 64-yard interception return for a touchdown. But he also had a costly 15-yard penalty that contributed to Carolina's game-winning touchdown in the final minute of play. Kennedy hit Panthers QB Jake Delhomme after he had started his slide at the end of a run, and officials flew the flag on him. Delhomme eventually left the field woozy, and his backup, Chris Weinke, completed the drive to give the Panthers a 21-20 win.

--LT Jeff Backus had the kind of day Sunday that offensive linemen dread. He was flagged three times for false starts, once for holding and left the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle of undetermined seriousness.

--DT Shaun Rogers blocked his eighth kick in five NFL seasons Sunday in the Lions' 21-20 loss to Carolina. Rogers blocked a 52-yard field goal attempt by John Kasay in the second quarter. Rogers has blocked seven field-goal attempts and one extra-point try.

--OLB Boss Bailey intercepted a Jake Delhomme pass and returned it 34 yards for his first touchdown in three NFL seasons in the Lions' 21-20 loss to the Panthers.

--CB Dre' Bly picked up his third interception of the season in the Lions' 21-20 loss to the Panthers. Bly made the interception on the Lions goal line on a pass intended for WR Steve Smith.

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