Buffalo Bills versus Carolina Panthers: Game preview

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 26: Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills looks on against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half during a preseason game at M
BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 26: Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills looks on against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half during a preseason game at M /

We bring you all the latest information and stats, as the Buffalo Bills prepare to take on Sean McDermott’s former team, the Carolina Panthers.

No Buffalo Bills head coach has ever started 2-0. However, that’s what’s on the line, when Sean McDermott takes his team to North Carolina, to face the Panthers.

As things stand, McDermott is one of just three coaches to ever begin his Bills’ career with a win, along with Marv Levy and Rex Ryan. And just to make the storyline more intriguing, the 43-year-old will attempt to make franchise history, against a team where he was defensive coordinator for the last six years.

It’s fair to say it will be an upset if the Bills do manage to win, with the majority of the national media picking the Panthers to take this Week 2 matchup. Similarly, most sports betting companies have the Panthers as favourites on the points spread.

In that respect, McDermott is certainly aware of the task which awaits his team. Speaking to the media ahead of the game, he said:

"“Yes it’s a huge challenge. That’s a very talented football team, a team that’s been together for a long time now – seven years for the most part, the defense in particular. They retained some players first off and then added others…They do a great job schematically and are very fast, so we’ll have our hands full.”"

While it’s not surprising to hear McDermott rave about a defense which he helped build, his comments should actually give the Bills reason for hope. He knows the players better than most which — theoretically at least — means he knows how to exploit the defense.

You assume this will include a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy, who had 159 combined yards last week. If he can have a similar output against the Panthers, it probably means the Bills are in with a chance of actually winning.

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Understandably though, the Bills will also need a good outing from Tyrod Taylor, who has the potential to frustrate the Panthers with his dual threat as a passer and a runner. However, he will have to keep an eye out for Julius Peppers, who has the fifth-most sacks in NFL history and is still causing havoc in his 16th season.

The Buffalo Bills defense will have its own challenge, trying to contain Cam Newton. And while he didn’t look particularly effective in Week 1, it will be tough to keep him down.

As a final note, the weather shouldn’t be much of a factor, with it set to be almost ideal playing conditions in Charlotte, North Carolina. As reported by Don Paul of The Buffalo News, it will be mostly to partly sunny, warm and somewhat humid, but not oppressive, with just a 10 percent chance of an isolated shower.

Next: Time for Tyrod Taylor to raise his game

What’s your prediction for Sunday’s game? Do you believe the Buffalo Bills will win? If so, what will it take for this to happen? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.