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The one thing that’s been working for the Lions offense may

The one thing that has given the Panthers a chance may not either.Running back Kerryon Johnson just went to the locker room , to be checked for a left knee injury.Johnson walked slowly under his own power, after athletic trainers spent a good bit of time checking him out. He has 87 yards on 15 carries already today, as he continues to show he should be the Lions’ bell-cow back (LeGarrette Blount has zero yards on three attempts).The Lions are hanging onto a 13-7 lead because the Panthers haven’t done much either.But it may be getting harder, as quarterback Cam Newton just went down and had his athletic training staff checking his left knee. Taylor Heinicke has entered the game for the Panthers, as Newton’s getting checked on the sidelines.UPDATE 3:16 p.m. ET: Newton returned to the field on the following possession.The Hog Molly Report: Panthers at Falcons Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Hog Molly Report, where winning in the trenches is all that matters. Before we begin, we open with the reciting of our usual motto:In the spirit of Mr. Gettleman’s words (regardless of him having moved on) and the philosophy of building a team from the inside out, my goal will be to watch the hog mollies each game during the season and give them a grade based on their performance. This week we will look at the frustrating loss against the Atlanta Falcons where the Panthers fell to 1-1 on the season. This game wasn’t at all what we expected, with the offensive line doing a little better than we may have predicted, and the defensive line getting absolutely gashed all game long.Offensive Hog MolliesYards per Carry: 6.7, season: 5.4 (1st, NFL)Yards per Play: 7.0, season: 5.8 (14th, NFL)Sacks allowed: 2, season: 5 (T-16th, NFL)Third downs converted: 5 of 11 or 45%, season: 39% (14th, NFL)Rating: 4 out of 5 Tryin’ Hard HogsAll things considered, given the amount of shuffling and new starters we had on the line Color Rush Shaq Thompson Jersey , this was an extremely valiant effort. You’ve got newcomer Chris Clark at left tackle, Tyler Larsen in at right guard for Trai Turner, and Taylor Moton back out to right tackle. That’s a lot of guys in new spots, and they really handled it about as well as one could expect. Let’s start with the sack breakdown:1st Sack: Q1 4:05, 3rd & 8, CAR 27 - Falcons send a six man blitz, Carolina only has five blockers. Ultimately, safety Brian Poole comes untouched through the right side, Cam Newton never had the chance to even find the hot read.2nd Sack: Q2 2:24, 2nd & 10, CAR 36 - Falcons send a four man rush, but honestly, this play was blown up from jump street. Greg Van Roten starts the play pulling but due to some immediate interior pressure, simply turns around and works his way back outside to the left. He does his best to get a body on Takkarist McKinley, and halfway succeeds. This should have been enough to get rid of the ball, Cam Newton had an open man on a slant in Devin Funchess. He instead pump fakes, getting sacked in the process.Penalties harmed us again in this one, though there was plenty of uncalled holding that benefited both sides. I was very impressed with Chris Clark. For a guy who has not even been on the team a week, he put in a hell of an effort. He allowed two pressures , no sacks, and we left him alone on an island without any tight end help the entire game. If he can continue this level of play, there is no reason Matt Kalil should get his job back when he returns from injury, though I would say Kalil would be an upgrade on outside runs, where Clark struggled a bit. Tyler Larsen did a good job filling in for Trai Turner, and Taylor Moton had an awesome day... look for him as Hog Molly of the week.Going forward, I would like to see better technique from Greg Van Roten. I saw him get flat-footed out there a lot rather than keeping a proper base. He leaned his waist into a lot of blocks and gave up significant ground. Another guy who I’d want to see improvement from, but I probably won’t, is Ryan Kalil. It appears to me a long career in the NFL has caught up with him, as he also was giving significant ground in the middle. When Trai Turner returns, it might not be the worst idea to consider starting the Tyler Larsen era at center.Defensive Hog MolliesYards per Carry: 5.3, season: 4.9 (27th, NFL)Yards per Play: 7.4, season: 5.8 (22nd, NFL)Sacks given: 0, season: 6 (T-8th, NFL)Third down allowed %: 6 of 11 or 55%, season: 36% (14th, NFL)Rating: 1 out of 5 Disappointing Mashed PorkEverything was going fine until Calvin Ridley got bitten by the turf monster on a third down play and Donte Jackson was unjustly handed a defensive pass interference penalty. From there Youth Greg Olsen Jersey , for some reason, the entire day went off the rails. After Ridley got his undeserved touchdown to make the score 10-10, suddenly run fits got sloppy, offensive linemen were making it to the second level and bottling up Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson, and we ceased to get pressure at all on Matt Ryan. If you let that guy get comfortable, he will shred you, especially if his run game is also working. It was a highly disappointing effort from everyone, but especially the Hog Mollies. Julius Peppers turned in his second absentee game of the season, Mario Addison was handled for the most part, and while Kawann Short and Dontari Poe were having decent success pushing the middle of the pocket, their rotation mates Kyle Love and Vernon Butler had a tough day after a great performance last week. If there was one defensive lineman that made a noticeable impact, it was actually Wes Horton for the second week in a row. It might be time to consider giving him more run over Julius Peppers.Hog Molly of the Week: Taylor MotonThis man deserves far more than just a Hog Molly of the Week award for as much as the coaching staff have asked him to do all over the offensive line. He gets highlighted for his work in this one for not only moving back to the right side, but allowing ZERO pressures in the passing game, and doing some nice road grading as we’d expect in the run game. This kid is quickly rising to become our best offensive lineman, perhaps even more so than Trai Turner so far this year.

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