We’re onto week 2. Bills-Panthers in the heat of Carolina should be interesting. I’m going to be your party host during the recap, so let’s get to the team previews!
Chris Ostrander (@2itb_buffalo) 1-0
I’m not trying to read too much into some of the rust Cam Newton exhibited last week but it’s tough to cast off the regression the Panthers had last year and the narrative surrounding Newton’s week one performance. Hey did you hear that Sean McDermott is returning to Carolina for the first time this week? Struggles aside, you’d probably write a Bills loss to the Panthers in with ink just about any other time, sort of like the Cardinals game last year. Oh Brandon Beane is going back to Carolina too.
However, what I think will doom the Bills is some of the limitations they have on offense. The Jets are hapless and I don’t think the Panthers will provide quite as much room to operate this week.
Michael Necci (@manecci) 1-0
Panthers 21 Bills 13 – Last weeks’ Bills – Jets game was so boring and so bad that I actually turned it off in the middle of the 2nd quarter because I just couldn’t take it anymore. I think most of that had to do with the Jets being one of the worst assembled NFL teams in my lifetime. I think this game is going to be VERY close. I don’t think the Panther’s are that much better than the Bills, but with Carolina being home, having the better QB, and the better defense get a late TD in the 4th quarter to win this. But the Bills will keep this close, close enough that if they win it, we shouldn’t be surprised.
Mike McKenzie (@mack10zie) 1-0
I’m very intrigued by this game. The Bills didn’t look fantastic last week, but they did some things well against a horrible Jets team. The Panthers strength tends to be their run D. If they can stop Buffalo from running, it is going to be a long game. I think Buffalo will have some success running because their run game is that strong. I’m curious how Newton will look as he struggled last week after not playing for 8 months. The Panthers seem like an 8-8 team, so it’s a good measuring stick for Buffalo. I think Buffalo’s O will be a little short and Carolina wins 24-17.
Mike Migliore (@mmigliore) 1-0
Counting the Bills’ win Sunday against the Jets, the Bills have won on opening day eight times during the drought. Of the seven previous week 1 victories, the Bills have followed it up with a week 2 win to move to 2-0 five times. Between 1995 and 2015, teams that started the season 2-0 made the playoffs 61% of the time, which makes it all the more incredible that the Bills have missed the playoffs every single time they’ve started 2-0 since 2000. If they go 2-0 on Sunday, does anyone believe they’ll finish it off and end the drought?
I want to quickly take the time to remember another legendary week 2 Bills-Panthers matchup:
Week 2 of the 1995 season, Carolina’s first in the league. This game is incredible for its ineptitude. It was supposed to be a showdown between old friends Jim Kelly and Frank Reich. The two combined for just 10 completions in the game. Kelly went 4-21 passing and was the winning quarterback. Kelly started the game completing just 1 of his first 14 passes for 4 yards and three interceptions, Three of his four completions in the game went for 77, 60, and 35 yards. Kerry Collins got in the game at the end for Carolina and went 0-2. This was on a clear, sunny September day with little to no wind. The Bills won, 31-9. This game boggles my mind.
If Cam’s shoulder is still bothering him, the Bills might hang around for a while. It’s tough to see the Bills outright winning this game. I don’t feel confident about this offense against a good defense on the road.
Prediction: Panthers 17, Bills 9
Joe (@buffalowins) 1-0
I think this game will be close. It seems like Cam Newton is a bit rusty from his shoulder surgery. The Panthers line is kind of a mess which should fall into the Bills’ hands as Cam normally likes to take his time picking out WRs. Also, in a meaningless historical sense, the Bills have never lost in Carolina. Still, I think the Bills lose this one, 20-14.
Evan (@evancdent) 1-0. Panthers 27 – Bills 17
Tough to get a read on either team, as they both played really bad opponents last week. Overall, the Panthers just have more talent up and down their roster. I have a hard time seeing the Bills’ secondary being able to contain the Panthers passing attack, since it’s actually competent – unlike the Jets – and will attack the Bills’ weak linebacking corps in the flats.
The Panthers defense is nothing special, but if they limit McCoy and force Tyrod to throw to his receivers (very possible, since they have linebackers capable of covering Clay and McCoy), they’ll get the W. Calls for Tyrod’s job start sometime in the second quarter.
Ricardo C. (@rcanepac) 1-0
Panthers 24 – Bills 19
I think this game might be closer than most might anticipate. Inside knowledge by McDermott and Beane may play a part in this, no doubt about it.
However, I think that the Panthers will get away with the win. Ultimately, I think that our lack of talent at wide receivers will hurt us. I anticipate Carolina taking Clay away and dare Holmes / Jones / Matthews to beat the CBs, and I don’t see a lot of separation ability from such group just jet. Ultimately, I think that Panther’s defense is better than our offense and that Kuechly might have a monster game.
Also, I’m a bit worried about our LB core since the Jets attacked them with some grade of success.
I anticipate a first half in which our offense looks bad and Newton making a couple of big plays. On the second half Tyrod will look better but won’t be enough for a comeback :(.