Panthers top the Bills in McDermott's homecoming

No touchdowns were scored by either team in a 9-3 Panthers win

September 17, 2017 - 1:27 pm

It was not the return to Carolina that Bills head coach Sean McDermott, general manager Brandon Beane, and many of the players had envisioned. Both offenses fail to score a touchdown on the day, but the Panthers produce three field goals compared to Buffalo's one in a 9-3 Bills loss at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Both the Panthers and Bills were coming off wins in Week 1, all be it against easy opponents. The Bills defeated the Jets, while the Panthers took down the 49ers. This was the first test for two teams that fell well short of the playoffs last season. 

With a win, the Bills would have gotten off to their first start 2-0 since the 2014 season. McDermott was seeking to be the first Bills head coach to begin his career 2-0. The Panthers were seven-point favorites at home entering the game. 

The Panthers took the field first on offense. An elusive Cam Newton run on 3rd down kept the drive going at mid-field. In the red-zone, Newton threw a pass in the end-zone to Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin had the ball before getting labeled by Jordan Poyer, forcing the incompletion. The Panthers would settle for a field goal. 

The Bills did not answer. They went three-and-out in a one minute drive. 

The Panthers looked like they were on the way to scoring again, following another scramble by Newton for a first. However, the Bills stopped Christian McCaffrey short on a third down at mid-field, forcing a punt. 

Again the Bills couldn't get anything going on offense, with their second 3 and out. They finished the first quarter with just 16 yards of offense. However, they only trailed 3-0.

Jerry Hughes and Eddie Yarbrough came up with huge back to back sacks on the next drive. Newton drove the Panthers into Bills territory, before the pair of sacks, taking Carolina out of field goal range. The Bills defense continued to keep them in it early. Panthers tight end Greg Olsen went to the locker room after sustaining a foot injury on the drive. After the game, Olsen revealed that he suffered a broken foot and he will miss several weeks of action.

Newton started picking the Bills apart on their next drive. He completed three big throws to Kelvin Benjamin, Ed Dickson, and Devin Funchess to get his team into the red zone. The Bills defense did manage to keep them out of the end-zone, and the Panthers extended their lead to 6-0. Without the Bills being able to get anything going on offense, that was the score at the half. LeSean McCoy has three carries for 0-yards at the break. 

To start the second half, the Bills finally got some movement, doubling their first half first downs. On 4th and 1 near mid-field, Sean McDermott decided to go for it, but was stopped. The Panthers took over on a turnover on downs. 

The rest of the third quarter was filled with very good defense, as both offenses showed no ability to move the ball. The Bills showed a consistent ability to get to Newton, and after taking several sacks, a Jerry Hughes sack knocked Newton out of the game. 

The Bills finally got on the board in the fourth quarter. Some good field position and a big 3rd down conversion by Tyrod Taylor to Jordan Matthews set up a 45-yard Steven Hauschka field goal. Despite not scoring in the first three quarters, the Bills were only down three in the fourth quarter. 

The Panthers drove down the field and took more than eight minutes off the clock, however could not punch in a touchdown. The Bills had the ball with two minutes left with a chance to tie the game. 

Finally the Bills got a drive going, but it was goo little too late. After several throws by Taylor got them to Carolina's 33-yard line with 14-seconds to go, Zay Jones dropped a pass at the 4-yard line to end the game. The game ended with no touchdowns being scored by either team. 

First Quarter:

  • 3-0 Panthers (8:49) - Panthers kicker Graham Gano converts a 34-yard field goal to open the scoring. 
    • Drive Info: 13 plays, 59 yards, 6:11

Second Quarter:

  • 6-0 Panthers (2:02) - Panthers kicker Graham Gano converts a 28-yard field goal to extend the lead.
    • Drive Info: 10 plays, 46 yards, 6:51

Third Quarter:

  • 6-0 Panthers (12:39) - Bills running back LeSean McCoy is stopped in the back field on 4th and 1. The Bills turn the ball over on downs

Fourth Quarter:

  • 6-3 Panthers (11:09) - Steven Hauschka converts a 45-yard field goal to finally get the Bills on the scoreboard.
    • Drive info: 9 plays, 30 yards, 4:18
  • 9-3 Panthers (2:16) - Graham Gano converts a 20-yard field goal to extend the lead.
    • Drive info: 15 plays, 73 yards, 8:34





Buffalo Bills:

Tyrod Taylor: 17/25, 125 yards

Carolina Panthers:

Cam Newton: 20/32, 228 yards


Buffalo Bills:

Tyrod Taylor: 8 carries, 55 yards

LeSean McCoy: 12 carries, 9 yards

Mike Tolbert: 3 carries, 5 yards

Carolina Panthers: 

Jonathan Stewart: 15 carries, 40 yards

Cam Newton: 5 carries, 27 yards

Christian McCaffrey: 8 carries, 10 yards


Buffalo Bills:

LeSean McCoy: 6 catch, 34 yards

Jordan Matthews: 3 catch, 30 yards

Charles Clay: 3 catches, 23 yards

Andre Holmes: 2 catches, 18 yards

Zay Jones: 2 catches, 18 yards

Mike Tolbert: 1 catch, 2 yards


Carolina Panthers

Kelvin Benjamin: 6 catches, 77 yards

Devin Funchess: 4 catches, 68 yards

Christian McCaffrey: 4 catch, 34 yards

Ed Dickson: 2 catches, 26 yards

Greg Olsen: 1 catch, 10 yards

Curtis Samuel: 2 catches, 7 yards



Buffalo Bills:

Jordan Poyer: 11 tackles, 3 passes defended, 1 sack

Jerry Hughes: 6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks

Lorenzo Alexander: 10 tackles, 1 sack

Shaq Lawson: 5 tackles, 1 sack

Eddie Yarbrough: 1 sack


Carolina Panthers:

Thomas Davis: 7 tackles

Luke Kuechly: 5 tackles

Julius Peppers: 2 sacks

Mario Addison: 1 sack

Total Yards:

Bills: 255
Panthers: 176

Passing Yards:

Bills: 107
Panthers: 178

Rushing Yards:

Bills: 69
Panthers: 77

First Downs:

Bills: 10
Panthers: 19


Bills: 5 for 44 yards
Panthers: 6 for 40 yards

Time of Possession:

Bills: 21:07
Panthers: 38:44

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