Matthew Stafford connected with Kenny Golladay on a go-ahead, 19-yard touchdown pass and the Detroit Lions hung on for a 20-19 victory over the visiting Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
The Panthers pulled within one on Cam Newton’s 8-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Moore with 1:07 remaining. Carolina coach Ron Rivera decided to go for a two-point conversion but Newton’s pass attempt fell incomplete.
Stafford completed 23 of 37 passes for 220 yards. Golladay made eight catches for 113 yards and recently-signed Bruce Ellington made six receptions for 52 yards for the Lions (4-6).
Detroit rookie Kerryon Johnson rushed for 87 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown but was forced out of the game with a knee injury.
Newton completed 25 of 37 passes for 357 yards and three touchdowns while getting intercepted once. Moore caught seven passes for 157 yards for the Panthers (4-6). Christian McCaffrey rushed for 53 yards on 13 carries and caught six passes for 57 yards.
Matt Prater connected on a 32-yard field goal during the third quarter to give Detroit a 13-7 lead.
The Panthers drove 92 yards in 10 plays early in the fourth quarter and Newton found Curtis Samuel for a 12-yard scoring strike. But Graham Gano missed the extra point, leaving the score tied at 13.
The Lions regained the lead on Stafford’s 19-yard pass to Golladay. The rookie receiver made a leaping catch while falling backward into the end zone and getting pushed by cornerback James Bradberry.
The Lions held a 10-7 halftime lead.
Carolina drove 90 yards after the opening kickoff and scored on Newton’s 1-yard pass to a wide open Greg Olsen. Newton completed a 23-yard pass to Devin Funchess during that drive.
Detroit answered with a 72-yard drive the first time it had the ball. Johnson scooted around the left side for an 8-yard touchdown to cap it off.
The next five possessions in the game ended with punts before the Lions moved in front on Prater’s 54-yard field goal.
—Field Level Media