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Panthers backup P.J. Walker shows hes good enough to beat the …

P.J. Walker

Panthers backup P.J. Walker shows hes good enough to beat the …

The Panthers recorded their first shutout since 2015 and ended a five-game skid as they won without Teddy Bridgewater and Christian McCaffrey.

Panthers backup P.J. Walker shows he’s good enough to beat the Lions – Carolina Panthers Blog- ESPN

2hDavid Newton4hDavid Newton7hDavid Newton18hESPN2dDavid Newton3dDavid Newton4dDavid Newton6dDavid Newton6dDavid Newton7dDavid Newton7dDavid Newton4:06 PM ETDavid NewtonESPN Staff Writer Covered Panthers, NFL for 11 years
More than 25 years experience covering NFL, college football and NASCAR
Joined ESPN in 2006

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s too early to say the won’t need to select a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 draft.

But former XFL star at least showed on Sunday that he’s capable of winning an NFL game — even if was against the undermanned .

Walker did a lot of good things in the in relief of , a last-minute inactive as he recovers from a sprained right knee suffered a week ago against Tampa Bay.

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Walker completed 23-of-43 pass attempts for 258 yards and a touchdown. He showed with his scrambling on a couple of plays, particularly on a 20-yard pass to , why coach Matt Rhule went with him over less mobile to help the Panthers (4-7) end a five-game losing streak.

Walker also threw two bad interceptions in the red zone on which the Detroit defender looked like the intended receiver.

He also was the benefactor of a Detroit offense playing without three key pieces in addition to quarterback nursing a sore right thumb.

The Lions were so bad offensively that they punted four times in the first half against a Carolina team that forced only two punts in the last four games combined.

The result was Carolina’s first shutout since Dec. 13, 2015, against the , against a Detroit team that hadn’t been shut out since 2009.

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Caffeine required: Maybe it was the ineptness of Detroit. Maybe it was a mostly empty stadium. But the only real energy in this one came before the game as Rhule, team owner David Tepper and general manager Marty Hurney debated whether to play Bridgewater.

Buy on a breakout performance: Moore has struggled to develop a consistent chemistry with Bridgewater, but Walker certainly liked going to him. Moore had seven catches for a season-high 127 yards. Or maybe it’s just the Lions. Moore had a career-high 157 yards receiving against Detroit in 2018.

Troubling trend: has struggled to produce in the running game for the fifth straight start. It’s troubling because Sunday he had only 64 yards on 19 carries against a Detroit defense giving up 141 yards rushing per game.

Silver lining: The Panthers could get Bridgewater and running back (shoulder) back for next Sunday’s game against Minnesota. That would be a huge boost for the offense in Bridgewater’s first return to Minnesota as the starter since he suffered a horrific left knee injury in 2016 in training camp for the Vikings.

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