AFC East

Carolina Panthers vs. Buffalo Bills Preview

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

Overview

After a loss to the Atlanta Falcons last week, the Carolina Panthers have a lot to think about. After such a promising start to the season, they are now 5-8 and have fired their offensive coordinator, Joe Brady. Head coach Matt Rhule’s seat is growing warmer by the day. The Buffalo Bills are dealing with their own type of disappointment. Despite a winning record (7-6), the Super Bowl aspiring team has been dealing with their own on-field problems. However, the Bills have won three of the last four home matchups against the Panthers.

Carolina Panthers Keys to the Game

-In this matchup, Carolina will need to stop Buffalo’s D-line, which presents a problem for an injury-plagued offensive line that has featured nine combinations of starters this season.

-Quarterback Cam Newton is still looking for his first win back with the team that drafted him first overall in 2011. He will need to limit turnovers if the Panthers want a fighting chance. Newton has turned the ball over five times in the last two games.

-Defensively, Carolina will rely on edge rusher Brian Burns to generate pressure on Bills QB Josh Allen, who was dealing with a foot injury earlier this week. Allen is at least expected to play Sunday, but may be limited.

Next man up mentality: the Carolina Panthers have been decimated with injuries this year. They need to find a way to replicate their early season success. Quarterback Sam Darnold is on IR, along with starting and backup centers Matt Paradis & Mike Panasiuk, and superstar running back Christian McCaffery. Team leading wide receiver D.J. Moore is questionable to play, as are staring guards Michael Jordon and John Miller. On the opposite side of the ball, staring defensive tackle Derrick Brown finds himself out of commission due to COVID-19, which is currently disrupting the league. Two starting cornerbacks- 2021 first round pick Jaycee Horn and A.J Bouyee- are out. Horn has been on the IR for the majority of the year.

Final & Stat Prediction:

It’s tough to look at the lowly Panthers right now and say they can pull out a win on Sunday. Best I can offer is that it won’t be a total blowout… just a pretty good beating. Buffalo Bills 35, Carolina Panthers 13

Panthers Stats:

QB Cam Newton, 1 rushing TD, 2 INTs. RB Chuba Hubbard, 55 yards rushing, 15 receiving. Brian Burns, 1.5 sacks.

Bills Stats:

QB Josh Allen: 2 TDs, one to WR Gabriel Davis. RB Devin Singletary rushes for 100+ yards, 1 TD.

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