BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: What a way for Buffalo Bills rookie quaterback EJ Manuel to win his first game. Down six points with 1:38 remaining in the game, Manuel showed incredible composure in moving the Bills down the field. Most of the passes were short, but Manuel was able to get the ball to his open receivers.
At one point, it looked as though the game was over after Manuel threw an interception. The play was negated, however, as Stevie Johnson, Manuel’s intended receiver, was interfered with by Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. After a nice run by Manuel, the quarterback found Stevie Johnson wide open in the end zone with two seconds remaining.
Manuel gets the game ball on offense as he went 27-of-39 for 296 yards with one touchdown and one interception. C.J. Spiller led the team in rushing with 103 yards on 16 carries and Stevie Johnson led the team in receiving with 111 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions.
Defensively, Mario Williams set a new team record with 4.5 sacks on Cam Newton. Williams could have had another sack or two, but was held consistently. This game was by far Mario’s best as a Buffalo Bill. Rookie Kiko Alonso also had a great game with ten total tackles (9-1), one interception and one sack. Buffalo did a fantastic job of holding the Panthers to field goals when the Panthers were given a short field.
The Bills move to 1-1 and have plenty of momentum as the team gets ready to play the New York Jets in Week 3. After a win like this, there is plenty to feel good about as a Bills fan.
BILLS WIN! BILLS WIN!
Bills 24- Panthers 23
Kiko Alonso sacks Cam Newton on the final play of the game as the Bills pull out the victory!
Bills 24 – Panthers 23
E.J. Manuel marched the Bills down the field and connected with Stevie Johnson for a touchdown with two seconds remaining!
Panthers 23 – Bills 17
The Bills stop the Panthers from getting a first down, but Graham Gano connected on a 39 yard field goal. There is 1:38 remaining in the game.
Although everyone knows the run is coming, Buffalo cannot stop Carolina. At the two-minute warning, the Panthers have a 1st and 10 on Buffalo’s 30 yard line. The Bills have all three timeouts remaining, but Buffalo will need to stop the Panthers here if they have any hopes of tying or winning the ballgame.
Panthers 20 – Bills 17
Dan Carpenter kicked in a 48 yard field goal to bring the Bills within three points. There is 7:13 left in the game.
C.J. Spiller starts off the Bills’ series with a 46 yard rush.
Panthers 20 – Bills 14
Buffalo once again stopped the Panthers from punching the ball into the end zone. Graham Gano hit a 25 yard field goal with 8:41 left in the gmae.
E.J. Manuel threw a poor pass to T.J. Graham that was intercepted by Luke Kuechly. Carolina takes over again deep in Buffalo’s territory.
Panthers 17 – Bills 14
The Bills held Carolina to three points after the Panthers recovered an E.J. Manuel fumble deep in Buffalo’s territory. Graham Gano connected with a 22 yard field goal. There’s 12:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.
At the end of the third quarter, the Bills and Panthers are tied at 14.
Carolina has the ball deep in Buffalo territory after they recovered an E.J. Manuel fumble. Quintin Mikell stripped Manuel of the ball and former Buffalo Bill Dwan Edwards recovered the fumble.
Bills 14 – Panthers 14
Buffalo received the ball and moved it down the field with ease. Fred Jackson punched the touchdown in from four yards out and Robert Woods caught a two-yard pass for the two-point conversion. There’s 4:15 left in the third quarter.
Panthers 14 – Bills 6
The Panthers took advantage of an extremely questionable call by the referees to add to their lead. Ted Ginn Jr. caught a 40 yard touchdown reception from Cam Newton.
Frank Summers was called for a hold before the punt, so Carolina gets the ball back with an automatic first down.
Mario Williams registered his fourth sack of the day. No, that is not a typo. The Panthers had to punt the ball back to the Bills following Williams’ sack.
Panthers 7 – Bills 6
Buffalo had the ball on the two yard line, but they could not score a touchdown. Instead, Dan Carpenter kicked a 20 yard field goal to close the gap to one point. There’s currently 10:49 remaining in the third quarter.
Buffalo’s drive continued thanks to a facemask penalty on third down against the Panthers.
Correction: Captain Munnerlyn delivered the cheapshot to Stevie Johnson, not Josh Norman.
The Bills are moving the ball down the field on their opening possession of the second half. The Panthers have suffered two injuries on the drive. Charles Johnson, the team’s star defensive end and cornerback Josh Norman have both sustained injuries. Norman had hit Stevie Johnson with a cheap shot earlier in the drive.
FIRST HALF THOUGHTS: Offensively, the Bills are struggling to move the ball through the air. Buffalo has found itself in third and manageable situations, but E.J. Manuel was checked down time and time again to players short of the first down marker. In the second half Manuel needs to try and stretch the field. In the run game, C.J. Spiller has 49 yards on nine rushes. He’s been a bright spot offensively.
On defensive, the team was playing great as a whole right before Carolina’s final series. Buffalo didn’t apply much pressure to Cam Newton and the quarterback was able to pick the Bills apart for a late touchdown. In the second half, Buffalo needs to apply pressure to Newton as he’s looked uncomfortable when the Bills have blitzed.
Editor’s Halftime Thoughts:
The Buffalo Bills defense was terrific for the first 28 minutes of the first half, allowing just 76 yards and zero points on the Carolina Panthers’ first five drives. The Bills did a good job of bringing pressure for most of the half, with star defensive end Mario Williams earning his hefty paycheck with a three-sack performance. Rookie inside linebacker Kiko Alonso also made the first big play of his NFL career with an interception on the Panthers’ opening drive.
In the final two minutes, however, the Bills were too conservative with their rushes, failing to bring pressure and allowing the Panthers to quickly complete passes and drive down the field. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton found rhythm with his offense for the first time in the game, and he led a 10-play, 90-yard touchdown drive in just one minute and 54 seconds.
With the Bills now trailing 7-3 at halftime, that rhythm is something the Buffalo offense must find in the second half. Bills quarterback EJ Manuel has completed 10 of 15 passes for 102 yards, but hasn’t made many significant throws downfield — in fact, the leading receiver in the game is fullback Frank Summers, who took a short pass 34 yards on the Bills’ opening drive.
C.J. Spiller has been better than he was last week, gaining 49 yards on nine carries, but the Bills have to be able to consistently pick up first downs — they only had eight in the first half — to put their team in position to score. The four-point deficit is small, but still significant because of the Bills’ offensive struggles thus far in this game.
— Dan Hope
Panthers 7 – Bills 3
Greg Olsen catches a 13 yard touchdown pass to give the Panthers the lead before halftime. There’s 13 seconds remaining in the first half.
We’ve reached the two minute warning and the score is still 3-0 Buffalo. Carolina has the ball at their own 20 yard line.
Mario Williams is playing out of his mind with four solo tackles and three sacks in the first half of the game.
C.J. Spiller had a 38 yard run nullified by a Lee Smith holding penalty on Buffalo’s drive. The Bills couldn’t move the ball following the penalty, so the ball was punted back to the Panthers with 7:31 to go in the second quarter.
Bills 3 – Panthers 0
Dan Carpenter hits a 55 yard field goal with plenty of room to spare! There’s 10:41 remaining in the second quarter.
C.J. Spiller is running a lot better against the Panthers as he has 32 yards on four rushes. The Bills drive however stalled out and the team once again punted the ball to the Panthers. Carolina takes over on their 23 yard line with 2:34 left in the first quarter.
Kiko Alonso just missed a sack, but on the following play Mario Williams sacked Cam Newton on third and two. The Panthers were forced to punt and the Bills will take over deep in their own territory.
Dan Carpenter misses his first field goal attempt as a Buffalo Bills player. The kick went wide right.
We’re finally up and running. The joys of technology.
The Bills currently have the ball following a Kiko Alonso interception. The Bills currently have the ball on the Panthers 20-yard line.
Ryan is currently experiencing technical difficulties. We will begin live blogging once Ryan or Dan is able to watch the game and have Internet access.
30 minutes until kickoff. If you haven’t yet, check out Eric Samulski’s preview of today’s game!
Today’s starting lineup will be the same as last week, according to tweets from the Bills’ official Twitter account.
QB EJ Manuel
RB C.J. Spiller
FB Frank Summers
WR Stevie Johnson
WR T.J. Graham
TE Scott Chandler
LT Cordy Glenn
LG Colin Brown
C Eric Wood
RG Kraig Urbik
RT Erik Pears
DE Alex Carrington
DT Kyle Williams
DT Marcell Dareus
DE Mario Williams
OLB Manny Lawson
MLB Kiko Alonso
OLB Nigel Bradham
CB Leodis McKelvin
SS Aaron Williams
FS Da’Norris Searcy
CB Justin Rogers
- Special Teams
K/KO Dan Carpenter
P/H Shawn Powell
KOR T.J. Graham
PR Leodis McKelvin
LS Garrison Sanborn
Today’s inactives for the Buffalo Bills are as follows:
K Dustin Hopkins
CB Stephon Gilmore
FS Jairus Byrd
CB Ron Brooks
OL Doug Legursky
WR Marquise Goodwin
TE Chris Gragg
Inactives for the Carolina Panthers are: