|Last 3 Games||0-1||-1||0-1||0-1||7.0||7.0||243.0||(5.1)||2.0||12.0||3.0||370.0||(6.3)||1.0|
|Offense (All Games)||7.0||7.0||16.0||29:46||25-124||(5)||16-23||69.6%||119||(5.2)||48-243||(5.1)||(34.7)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||7||7||16||30:46||25-124||(5)||16-23||69.6%||119||(5.2)||48-243||(5.1)||(34.7)|
|Defense (All Games)||12.0||3.0||18.0||30:14||26-70||(2.7)||25-33||75.8%||300||(9.1)||59-370||(6.3)||(30.8)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||12||3||18||30:14||26-70||(2.7)||25-33||75.8%||300||(9.1)||59-370||(6.3)||(30.8)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.0||2.0||2.0||-1.0||11-5||45.5%||0-0||0.0%||0-0||(0)||2-10||(5)||4-46|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||0||2||2||1||11-5||45.5%||0-0||0.0%||0-0||(0)||10-2||(5)||4-46|
|Stats Against (All Games)||0.0||1.0||1.0|| ||13-6||46.2%||0-0||0.0%||0-0||(0)||4-48||(12)||9-109|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0||1||1|| ||13-6||46.2%||0-0||0.0%||0-0||(0)||48-4||(12)||9-109|
|Last 3 Games||0-1||-1||1-0||0-1||21.0||14.0||286.0||(4.7)||2.0||23.0||17.0||431.0||(5)||3.0|
|Offense (All Games)||21.0||14.0||15.0||22:17||34-136||(4)||18-27||66.7%||150||(5.6)||61-286||(4.7)||(13.6)|
|Opponents Defensive Avg.||15.5||8.5||15||28:08||33-132||(4)||16-31||53.2%||170||(5.5)||64-302||(4.7)||(19.5)|
|Offense Home Games||21.0||14.0||15.0||22:17||34-136||(4)||18-27||66.7%||150||(5.6)||61-286||(4.7)||(13.6)|
|Defense (All Games)||23.0||17.0||26.0||37:43||35-158||(4.5)||29-52||55.8%||273||(5.2)||87-431||(5)||(18.7)|
|Opponents Offensive Avg.||18||15||17.5||32:52||30-106||(3.6)||24-46||52.7%||226||(5)||75-332||(4.4)||(18.4)|
|Defense Home Games||23.0||17.0||26.0||37:43||35-158||(4.5)||29-52||55.8%||273||(5.2)||87-431||(5)||(18.7)|
|Stats For (All Games)||0.0||2.0||2.0||1.0||13-4||30.8%||0-0||0.0%||1-19||(19)||0-0||(0)||10-75|
|Opponents Avg. Stats Against||1.5||1.5||3||2||16-5||32.3%||0-0||0.0%||0-10||(19)||4-1||(3.5)||9-70|
|Stats For (Home Games)||0.0||2.0||2.0||1.0||13-4||30.8%||0-0||0.0%||1-19||(19)||0-0||(0)||10-75|
|Stats Against (All Games)||1.0||2.0||3.0|| ||20-11||55.0%||1-0||0.0%||2-35||(17.5)||3-32||(10.7)||4-36|
|Opponents Avg. Stats For||0||1||1|| ||19-8||39.5%||0-0||0.0%||2-30||(20)||52-4||(11.6)||4-33|
|Stats Against (Home Games)||1.0||2.0||3.0|| ||20-11||55.0%||1-0||0.0%||2-35||(17.5)||3-32||(10.7)||4-36|
|Average power rating of opponents played: CAROLINA 32, BUFFALO 27|
|9/15/2013||@ BUFFALO|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/22/2013||NY GIANTS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/6/2013||@ ARIZONA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/13/2013||@ MINNESOTA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/15/2013||CAROLINA|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/22/2013||@ NY JETS|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|9/29/2013||BALTIMORE|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/3/2013||@ CLEVELAND|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|10/13/2013||CINCINNATI|| || || || || || || || || || || || |
|CAROLINA: New offensive coordinator Mike Shula was promoted from QB coach, so there won't be many offensive changes. Carolina uses a zone-blocking scheme in a number of looks, from spread to wishbone. Jonathan Stewart figures to lead the RB committee in carries, with DeAngelo Williams in a No. 2 role and Mike Tolbert splitting time at halfback and fullback. They use a lot of zone read options with Cam Newton, who could very well lead the team in rushing again as Shula is committed to letting his star pupil make plays.
This is a vertical passing game that works off the threat of the run. Shula will continue to make it a point to feed Steve Smith any time he's in single coverage. Smith still does most of his work downfield. Flex TE Greg Olsen serves as essentially a No. 2 receiver, working up the seam most of the time but also coming back on some checkdowns in the middle of the field. They started to work in Brandon LaFell last year as a catch-and-run guy, and he figures to kick inside when they increasingly go three-wide with field-stretcher Domenik Hixon outside. The red zone will continue to be where Newton takes over. He had nearly half the team's rushing attempts inside the 10 last year, and he and Tolbert essentially split goal line chances. When they throw, Olsen figures to be the No. 1 target.
This defense will need another year or two before becoming an above-average unit. LB Luke Kuechly led the NFL with 164 tackles as a rookie, and the Panthers drafted two large DTs in Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short who will be great down the road. But although no Carolina player had more than two interceptions in 2012, the team did nothing to bolster its secondary. The best cover men are underwhelming CBs Josh Norman and Josh Taylor, and top SS Haruki Nakamura has no business being a starter in the NFL.|
|BUFFALO: Don't expect major changes to the running game under new head coach Doug Marrone's regime. O-Line coach Pat Morris has leaned toward zone blocking over his career. The Bills should continue to rely on a lot of inside zone plays, which were highly effective last year. They'll continue to utilize both of their talented backs, with C.J. Spiller getting the bulk of the work over Fred Jackson. Spiller has become more of a north-south runner, making him much more effective. They'll also bring back a fullback sometimes.
Marrone and new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett were together at Syracuse, where they ran a tempo passing game that used a lot of no-huddle and pistol formations. If EJ Manuel isn't ready Week 1, Kevin Kolb will start and should get to make a lot of decisions pre-snap. Stevie Johnson is the clear-cut No. 1 receiver, and the kind of cerebral, instinctive player who should thrive in this offense. Running backs are also expected to be featured much more heavily than in recent seasons. Spiller showed an ability to pick up tough yards last year and will typically get the first crack near the goal line.
The Bills surrendered 35+ points six times last year, but new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine, the Jets DC in 2012, will try to capitalize on more forced turnovers than Dave Wannstedt's defense did last year (21 takeaways, T-9th-fewest in NFL). Pettine was criticized for running too conservative of a defense in New York, but has rolled out a hybrid 3-4 scheme in Buffalo. He has plenty of pass rushers in DEs Mario Williams and Mark Anderson, and the team also has two new starting OLBs in Manny Lawson and Jerry Hughes. The quality secondary could miss hard-hitting S George Wilson, but Buffalo gets to face six opponents with bottom-6 scoring offenses from last season.|
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER PRO FOOTBALL PREVIEW (CAROLINA-BUFFALO) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Panthers-Bills Preview* ========================
By JONAH ROSENBLUM STATS Writer
EJ Manuel earned a lot of praise after his NFL debut.
Cam Newton can certainly relate given his marvelous rookie year, though his season debut didn't go so well.
Both two-dimensional signal-callers look to help their teams bounce back from tantalizingly close losses to playoff teams from last season as the Buffalo Bills host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
The only quarterback selected in the first round of this year's draft, Manuel very nearly led the Bills to a stunning upset of New England last Sunday. He completed 18 of 27 passes for 150 yards and two touchdowns without an interception, but Buffalo lost 23-21 on a late field goal.
"Obviously with every play I was continuing to get more and more confidence in myself and continuing to relax, stay calm throughout the whole thing and stay poised as a quarterback," said Manuel, who had three carries for 23 yards and didn't take a sack.
Though he had just 47 total yards as the Bills (0-1) went scoreless on their final five drives and blew a six-point lead, Manuel did help Buffalo overcome an early 10-point deficit and received mostly positive reviews.
"I thought he was pretty phenomenal," tight end Scott Chandler told the team's official website. "Protected the ball, threw the ball well."
Manuel could only hope to have the type of rookie season Newton did when he earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011. Newton joined Drew Bledsoe as the only 22-year-old players in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards, and he rushed for 706 with 14 touchdowns.
Newton and the Panthers (0-1) didn't look so electric in Sunday's 12-7 home loss to Seattle. He did complete 16 of 23 passes but for a career-low 125 yards, and he gained 38 yards on five carries as Carolina fell to 4-14 when he fails to rush for 50.
"We did some things that were very exciting, but as an offense and as a team we just have to be more thorough to a degree and finish drives," Newton said.
The Panthers had three fumbles and lost two, including one by DeAngelo Williams eight yards from the end zone on what turned out to be their final possession.
"Offensively, we have to score more than seven points, that's what it all comes down to," offensive tackle Jordan Gross said.
Though Carolina averaged an impressive 5.2 yards per carry, coach Ron Rivera wasn't happy with how conservative the offense looked under first-year coordinator Mike Shula. After his team attempted only three passes of 10 yards or more Sunday, Rivera said his team needed to "look at getting the ball vertical."
"We have to create more of those opportunities," Rivera said.
Newton and the Panthers will look to take advantage of a depleted Bills secondary.
Already without two starters in cornerback Stephon Gilmore (wrist) and safety Jairus Byrd (feet), Buffalo lost Ron Brooks Sunday. Used as a third cornerback in passing situations, Brooks was scheduled to have surgery Tuesday on a broken right foot.
That's bad news for a Bills unit that struggled to get off the field Sunday, letting the Patriots convert 11 of 20 third-down opportunities, including two on the game-winning drive.
Buffalo, meanwhile, went 4 for 13 on third down and possessed the ball for 22:17 - its lowest total since Nov. 6, 2011.
"Obviously, you've got to get that fixed," running back Fred Jackson said. "We can't leave our defense out there. We can't go three-and-out and put them out there and make them have a long day."
While Jackson ran for 67 yards, Buffalo hopes for more from C.J. Spiller after he was held to 41 along with 14 yards on five catches. Spiller had 1,703 total yards last year.
Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson also had a rough day. After saying "I don't think (the Patriots) have got nobody to stop me," Johnson was held to three receptions for 39 yards.
Though it was Johnson who put the Bills ahead 21-17 with a third-quarter touchdown catch, he also dropped a short pass in the fourth quarter when he was wide open on third-and-1 from Buffalo's 49-yard line. The Bills would not approach midfield again.
"When you don't win a game, at the end of the day, that's when you get negative attention," Johnson said. "And I deserve it."
Carolina lost starting right guard Garry Williams for the season to a torn ACL and MCL in the opener, so Chris Scott will likely move into that spot as he faces a Bills team that cut him July 27. Scott made his first NFL start at left guard last Sunday and that position could be filled by former starter Amini Silatolu, who sat out Week 1 with a hamstring injury.
The Panthers haven't visited Buffalo since 2005, when they picked up their only win in five tries against the Bills.
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 8:56:35 PM EST|