Panthers defensive coordinator Phil Snow said last week Brian Burns was on the verge of a three-sack game because the second-year defensive end had been “so close” to the getting the opposing quarterback so many times this season.
Snow’s words nearly turned out to be prophetic on Sunday as Burns was in on three sacks — one solo and two split — helping the Panthers beat the Lions 20-0 and earn their first shutout since 2015.
Burns has six sacks and three forced fumbles and is emerging as one of the top pass rushers in the NFC.
Stats don’t tell the whole story, though.
Burns has been drawing the majority of double-teams from opposing teams because he doesn’t have much help on the defensive line following the season-ending injury to two-time Pro Bowl tackle Kawann Short. That prompted Snow to move Burns around along the defensive line to disguise their play calls, even allowing him to stand up at outside linebacker and drop into coverage at times. That seemed to confuse Matthew Stafford and the struggling Lions.
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