Much ado about football…
The Bills are back in action this week taking on the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. having beat the Jets 21-12 at home last week, they remain at the top on the AFC East. Here comes the asterik. The Dolphins haven’t played, the Patriots may have been a little overconfident against a good opponent at home and the Jets are very very bad.
So what does 1-0 mean? Well, they still have to knock you off the top of the mountain, so there is still a chance to stay there this week. To do that, they need to beat a much higher caliber of team.
Carolina offense vs Buffalo defense
The Panthers have a new look with running back Christian McCaffrey playing a scatback – multiple positions role in the offense. He is a dynamic player but really didn’t take off in his debut. Profootball focus had the Panthers as the 12th best offensive line heading into the season with there weaknesses at tackle. This would indicate more inside running and the likelihood we will see more Jonathan Stewart form them this week. The inside should be a strength bt Dareus hasn;t looked like himself and Jerel Worthy will miss this game with a concussion. Newton hasn’t looked like himself yet, but he is just getting warmed up. Kelvin Benjamin will likely be matched up with Tredavious White, Benjamins height and physicality offer some pluses against the rookie. TE Greg Olsen is also a factor down the middle. The Bills need to get outside contain pressure on the weak tackles and keep Cam bundled up.
I think the Panthers have the advantage here, especially at home.
Buffalo offense vs Carolina defense
Much is made about how much a coach who left a team or a player who came with them can have an effect on a game. It’s not as if the opponent isn’t aware of this. Unless the other staff has no respect for your ability to make a difference. I don’t see any benefit in either knowing what the other would do as they will modify just enough to get by and it’s still about player winning plays in the long run. At its core, the Panthers are about speed in the middle. Luke Kueckly is a solid player and a difference maker. The Bills want to run the ball and head directly into the strength of our opponent. this means the game rests on Taylor and a really unknown passing game. Expect Carolina to take away Clay and force the Bills into a medium to long passing game. Not a good fit for us.
Again I see the advantage being to the Panthers.
I want badly for the Bills to show me something and make me wrong, but I am not yet convinced we are ready to take on a team not long off of a trip to the Super Bowl. The Bills can show some heart here and keep it close. But in the end I expect this to end with the good guys on the wrong side.
Panthers 30 – Bills 14