Saturday, September 14, 2013

Coast's Panthers @ Bills Week 2 Preview

My bad on the late posting of this preview...but it is 2013, and I am sure anyone reading this has a smart phone... With another gut wrenching home opener in the books, the Bills will host the Carolina Panthers, who, just like Buffalo, lost at home by a narrow margin to one of the preseason Super Bowl favorites. The Panthers fell 12-7 to the Seahawks (Yup, just as I thought, the Seahawks covered).

Interestingly enough, Carolina is a 3 point favorite at this moment according to sportsbook.com. This makes no sense. You're telling me that if the Bills were playing at Carolina this week, they would be roughly 9 point underdogs? Carolina was a 7-9 football team in 2012 and their coach is Ron Rivera (transition lenses). The Saints are 3 point favorites on the road at Tampa Bay (who lost to the Jets) so either Vegas thinks the Bills are much worse than Tampa, OR Carolina is as good or better than the Saints. Interesting.

 As mentioned, the Panthers lost 12-7 at home to Seattle. Their offense was completely shut down. EJ took some heat this week by some idiots for not throwing the ball down field enough, his yards passing were weak, etc. Well, Cam threw for a solid buck 25 in week 1 and I am sure Panther fans aren't ready to run him out of town and throw DEREK DEREK DEREK (Anderson) back in there. Yeah, the Seahawks defense/secondary is among the best in the league, no argument there from me. I do believe that Cam is a scarier player than Brady at this point though. In 2012 Cam threw 19 TD passes, had 3,869 yards passing and also had 741 yards rushing along with 8 rushing TDs. This guy can hurt you in many ways.

Steve Smith is also still playing and is still somehow productive with 1,174 receiving yards in 2012. Smith, at 34, is still better than any pathetic WR on our roster. He had 6 for 51 and a TD week 1, which is a lot more than SJ can say...but at least Stevie can catch the ball when it matters...oh wait...The Bills have the worst of the two Steve's in this game without a doubt.

DeAngelo Williams is the main running back with Jonathan Stewart out but he is now 5 years removed from his 1,500 yard season and he is on the wrong side of 30. I am about as worried about D-Will as I was about Shane Vereen...not a good sign for the Bills. Greg Olsen will post a bigger challenge to the Bills defense at tight end than whoever the Patriots trotted out there. New England did not complete a single pass to a tight end in that game.

Should we really be scared of this offense (they do have Ted Ginn...who had his best career game against the Bills)? Well, according to football outsiders advanced stats (#analytics) the Panthers offense ranked 8th in the NFL in 2012. What about the Carolina defense? All I have heard this week is how great their front 7 is and based on last week's game, it is hard to disagree. My boy Marshawn had Spiller esque numbers with 17 carries for 43 yards. The Seahawks only managed 70 yards rushing. Just in case people don't know, Dwan Edwards is a member of this front 7. The front 7 also consists of Star Lotulelei, the rookie from Utah, Jon Beason and 2012 defensive rookie of the year Luke Kuechly. This group will post as much of a challenge for the Bills offense as Wilfork, Spikes, Mayo, etc. did last week.

The Carolina secondary does not seem as impressive. The 2012 version of EJ Manuel, Russel Wilson, threw for 320 yards and 0 interceptions. He also completed 76% of his throws. The Bills will have to open it up a little more tomorrow as this match up presents an opportunity for Manuel, Woods, Graham, Hogan, Easley, Chandler, Gragg, Spiller, Jackson, Choice and the gang. I may be forgetting some WR, but those are the only guys that haven't shown that they can't make a play when it matters.

According to FO #analytics, this defense ranked 12th in the league in 2012. It is pretty impressive that a team with the 8th best offense and 12th best defense went 7-9. Actually, it makes perfect sense with Ron Rivera. As far as the Bills go...I am hoping EJ gets a little more freedom this week, both with his arm and legs. Spiller has to be as motivated as ever after the rampage and his dismal performance in week 1. Johnson hopefully won't get the ball thrown his way in crunch time. Graham needs to actually show up. Chandler needs to not drop 20 yard passes.

Hopefully the Bills can get into single digit penalties this week as well. 10 penalties last week, many of which were critical, are unacceptable (New England only had 4) and this has been a trend all preseason. I still love Marrone, but if the penalties keep up, it is going to take a toll on me.

Defensively, Gilmore still out obviously and Byrd is just a joke. The Bills secondary got torched by a WR in the 2nd half last week that was injured to the point where after the game it is determined he is going to miss a month. Didn't stop Amendola from having 10 catches, 7 of which for a first down. I would really like to see the Bills get a little bit more of a pass rush this week as well. This is a broken record, but a Mario Williams sighting would be nice. I don't think Carolina is good...definitely not good enough to be -3 vs. anyone on the road. I love the Bills in this game. I am holding out hope that they are actually decent. My prediction is 23-13, Bills.

1 comment:

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