One factor Detroit Lions head coach Dan Campbell will all the time do is give credit score the place it’s due.
That was the case when his red-hot Lions went chilly on the highway in Charlotte, shedding to the Carolina Panthers, who couldn’t be stopped on offense.
So, when it was time for the pinnacle coaches’ customary handshake after the sport, Campbell walked proper as much as interim head coach Steve Wilks and advised him how he felt concerning the Panthers’ efficiency.
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“That’s an absolute a—kicking. That’s an amazing f—ing job,” Campbell said to Wilks.
Coming into the sport, Campbell’s Lions had a three-game win streak, pushing themselves into the wild card dialog. However the Panthers have been additionally taking part in for the playoffs with their very own division, the woeful NFC South, completely up for grabs regardless of proudly owning a 5-9 report getting into the sport.
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Carolina bought off to a sizzling begin on this recreation and wouldn’t flip again, utilizing 320 yards of run recreation to blast via the Lions’ protection to win 37-23.
The rationale why Campbell known as it an “a—kicking” was attributable to D’Onta Foreman and Chuba Hubbard teaming up for 165 and 125 yards, respectively. Foreman additionally scored certainly one of three Panthers speeding touchdowns.
Quarterback Sam Darnold, very like Detroit’s Jared Goff, has additionally been taking part in effectively and he was environment friendly on this contest. Darnold is the third quarterback of the yr for Carolina, which lower Baker Mayfield and tried P.J. Walker earlier than going to the previous first-round choose by the New York Jets.
Darnold was 15 of twenty-two for 250 yards with one passing landing to his favourite goal of late, D.J. Moore, who had 5 catches for 83 yards on seven targets.
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Goff nonetheless had himself recreation with 355 yards on 25 of 42 with three passing touchdowns. However Detroit’s protection simply couldn’t sustain with how effectively the Panthers’ offense was working.
Now Wilks and the Panthers will watch intently on Christmas night time to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals. The Bucs, led by Tom Brady, are solely 6-8 on the season. With a loss, the Panthers could be in first place, proudly owning the tiebreaker over Tampa Bay after defeating them earlier within the season. In addition they have a Week 17 assembly with them.
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The Lions are nonetheless within the combine for a wild card, however they should beat the Chicago Bears subsequent week in the event that they want to personal the sixth or seventh seed as soon as the common season is over.