The Carolina Panthers (3-1), led by quarterback Cam Newton, meet the Detroit Lions (3-1), led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, in an NFC matchup in NFL Week 5 action on Sunday, October 8, 2017 (10/8/17) at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.
Back on the field, he was impressive, completing 26 of his 33 passing attempts for a season-high 335 yards. The franchise quarterback almost redeemed himself, throwing two late touchdowns to tight end Darren Fells to close the deficit to 27-24. Newton's passer rating was a flawless 158.3 after he lasered a 31-yard touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin early in the third quarter.
But Newton's clutch, 17-yard completion to Kelvin Benjamin on third and 9 allowed Carolina to run out the clock.
The Panthers won't have much time to enjoy the victory as they have a short week and will face the Philadelphia Eagles Thursday night in Bank of America Stadium.
Asked if the pain he was dealing with was similar to what he played through against the Cleveland Browns as a rookie, when he stayed in to throw the game-winning touchdown pass to Brandon Pettigrew despite an injured left shoulder, Stafford said, "I don't know". The Lions fell to 3-2. If he can stay sharp, the Panthers' offense could be unsafe as he has a number of weapons at his disposal - including rookie all-purpose back Christian McCaffrey, who has caught 22 passes for 206 yards.
Stafford had to deal with unrelenting pressure for a second straight week.
He's the first player in Carolina Panthers history to have two catches of 50-plus yards in one game.
Newton threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns - with almost half that output going to tight end Ed Dickson - to lead Carolina to its second-straight road win over a 2016 playoff team. However, Cornerback Daryl Worley and wide receiver Curtis Samuel both of whom missed last week's game with injuries are expected to be back in the field. Ebron was booed in the second half after another drop.