CHARLOTTE, NC – It’s too early to say the Carolina Panthers won’t need to select a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 Draft

But former XFL star PJ Walker at least showed on Sunday he was capable of winning an NFL game – even though he was against the under-staffed Detroit Lions

Walker did a lot of good things in the 20-0 relief victory for Teddy Bridgewater, a last-minute inactive as he recovered from a sprained right knee suffered a week ago against Tampa Bay

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Everything you need this week:
• Full schedule »| Ranking ”
• Depth charts for each team ”
• Transactions ”| Injuries ”
• Football Power Index Rankings »More NFL Coverage»

Walker completed 23 of 43 passing attempts for 258 yards and a touchdown He showed with his scrambling on a few plays, especially on a 20-yard pass to DJ Moore, why coach Matt Rhule accompanied him on Will Grier less mobile to help the Panthers (4-7) end a five-game losing streak

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

He was also the benefactor of a Detroit attack playing without three key pieces in addition to quarterback Matthew Stafford treating a sore right thumb

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

The result was Carolina’s first shutout since December 13, 2015, against the Atlanta Falcons, against a Detroit team that had not been ruled out since 2009

Either way, as Walker showed by leading the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks to a 5-0 record before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the season, and at Temple where he helped Rhule to rebuild this program, it is a winner

He might not have been ready to face the top teams in the NFL, but at least for a day he was ready to beat the Lions (4-6)

It could ease the pressure to use a high pick to draft a quarterback to develop behind Bridgewater, who is set to return next Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings

Caffeine needed: Maybe it was Detroit’s ineptitude Maybe it was a nearly empty stadium But the only real energy in this one came before the game when Rhule, the owner of the team David Tepper and general manager Marty Hurney debated whether to play Bridgewater

Buy on a breakout performance: Moore struggled to develop consistent chemistry with Bridgewater, but Walker certainly enjoyed going to him Moore made seven catches for a 127-yard high Or maybe it didn’t are that the Moore Lions had a career-high 157 yards against Detroit in 2018

Disturbing trend: Mike Davis struggled to produce in the running game for fifth straight start It’s troubling because on Sunday he had just 64 yards on 19 carries against a Detroit defense, giving up 141 yards on the ground per match

Silver liner: Panthers could pick up Bridgewater and running back Christian McCaffrey (shoulder) for next Sunday’s game against Minnesota It would be a huge boost for the offense in Bridgewater’s first return to Minnesota as that leaving since suffering a horrific left knee injury in 2016 at Vikings training camp

PJ Walker, Teddy Bridgewater, Lions vs. Panthers

World News – USA – Panthers save PJ Walker shows he’s good enough to beat the Lions