Panthers vs. Bills suddenly features two of the most interesting quarterbacks in the NFL. Carolina’s Cam Newton is a known commodity as a special player, but Buffalo rookie EJ Manuel looked great last week in a loss to the New England Patriots.
Something will have to give when Newton and Co. travel to New York to take on the Bills. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from Week 1 losses and prevent and 0-2 start that could cripple the season.
Here’s everything fans need to know.
Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo, New York
When: September 15, 2013, 1:00 PM ET
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket, Game Rewind
Panthers Player to Watch: Cam Newton
Cam Newton had a horrible game last week. Yes, Carolina had to go up against an elite Seattle defense, but under 150 passing yards is not going to get it done.
Things get a bit easier this week for Newton against the Bills, but he’ll have to prove he can elevate his play on the road. The Buffalo defense has a nice pass-rush and Newton is going to have to use his feet to pull this game out on the road.
Bills Player to Watch: C.J. Spiller
Speaking of players who had a bad game last week, C.J. Spiller was next to nonexistent last week against New England. With how well the Panthers’ defense played last week against Seattle, that could be a recurring theme for Spiller.
Bottom line — Spiller is going to need a major game against a quality Carolina front seven. EJ Manuel won’t be able to do it on his own. Spiller is one of the NFL’s best and he’s going to need to play like it for his team to avoid a predictable 0-2 start.
Matchup to Watch: Cam Newton vs. Bills Pass Rush
Newton is the key in this game. He doesn’t have a lot to work with around him, so what he is able to do on his own will go a long way in deciding the contest.
Mario Williams and Co. need to put pressure on Newton at all times, because if he actually has time to throw he does have the ability to pick apart a defense. More important is not letting Newton get out on the run where he makes his biggest plays.
Road team loses here as well.
As good as EJ Manuel has looked, and as good as the draft class overall is starting to look, the Panthers are simply a better team at this point and playing at a higher level.
Newton is not going to get held down every week, and the Buffalo defense simply does not have enough to contain him. Carolina quietly has one of the better defenses in the league thanks to additions like Star Lotulelei, and they’ll make their presence known in Buffalo.
Carolina 35, Buffalo 28