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Buffalo Bills-Carolina Panthers Recap: One Win Closer to the Playoffs

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Finally, a win. The Panthers aren’t exactly the scariest of opponents, but what makes this win significant is the 31 points put up by the offense. This Buffalo Bills team we’ve been watching hasn’t been doing that as of late. This win highlighted a lot of good and bad for the Bills.

1.) This offensive line sucks

The OL yesterday looked worse for wear, with Feliciano out, adjustments had to be made to compensate. Unfortunately, the already bad OL got worse. Not the best situation when facing the best pass rush defense in the league.

Allen was sacked four times, losing 17 yards. With a foot injury already troubling the star QB, seeing him needing to run around behind the line, forced out of the pocket, and then roughly wrestled to the ground was not fun. He needs protection out there. The best we can hope for is for Feliciano to be out there next week, putting this OL back into “okay” territory.

2.) Offense slow to start

The Buffalo Bills offense has not been what anyone expected them to be early in the season. I had a lot of hope for them after the Bucs game, but it disappointed me to see that same lackluster offense of post-bye games take the field. There was no flair, no aggressiveness, nothing.

The Bills punted twice in the first quarter, not even getting into Panthers territory. They only had three first downs, one of which came just before the quarter end to set up the 16-yard TD run by Devin Singletary. I can understand needing to take a second to understand the opponent and match the pace of the game, but an entire quarter is too long and, frankly, annoying. Luckily for the Bills, the Panthers O was non-existent, so they weren’t able to capitalize on the Bills’ sloppiness. Other teams won’t do the same.

The bold, exciting offense needs to be on display from kickoff next week. Otherwise, they’ll be playing catchup all game long.

4.) Now for the good: Efe Obada

Many months ago, during the offseason. I wrote a love letter of sorts to Efe Obada, detailing how I believed he would become a vital part of the Bills defense. And now, all this time later, I’m proven to be correct.

Obada didn’t start, but he was cycled into the lineup towards the end of the game. And boy, did he make those minutes count. Three solo tackles and two sacks. Both of which came at crucial times during the game to keep the Panthers O at bay. This was a revenge game if there ever was one. The Brit is certainly making a case to stay on the roster for the foreseeable future.

5.) Defensive line back on track

The Buffalo Bills DL has been on a downward trend as of late, despite how talented that front line is. It seems that pressuring the QB hasn’t been anything they’re capable of. Well, that changed this week.

Cam Newton did not have a good day. He was sacked a total of four times by Obada (twice), Taron Johnson, and Star Lotulelei, making sure my prediction came true. But more importantly, they pressured him on nearly every throw he made, forcing him out of the pocket many times. The DL that we witnessed this week is the DL we saw all preseason and in the early games. They’re making a comeback.

The Bills ground attack seemingly started and ended with Josh Allen. As such, it has become the subject of much scrutiny from media and fans alike. But all of that was put to rest Sunday afternoon.

Devin Singletary went off (just as I predicted). He had 22 carries for 86 yards and one TD. A 16-yard touchdown which, personally, felt like him just saying “fuck you” to all his haters. And I am completely here for it. Why put all the pressure on your QB when you have a guy like Motor to lead the charge. He balled out today, it may not have been long yardage (he wasn’t explosive like Henry or Taylor), but he moved the chains and added another dimension to this Bills O. And that’s all you need from an RB. I need to see much more of him for the rest of these games.

7.) Do my eyes deceive me or is this a more open playbook?

The playcalling from Daboll has been awful lately. I have hated on it for weeks, there’s nothing enjoyable about it. But, it seems that our calls to fire Daboll have reached him, because for once we saw a fresh offense.

A wildcat with Isaiah McKenzie? Delicious. Airing it out to Davis on first down? Why not. Going for it on fourth down? Yes, please!! The Bills marched down the field after sorting out whatever the heck was going on in the first quarter. We saw an invigorated Buffalo Bills O, which is exactly what is going to win these final games. If the Bills continue to come out with this playbook, I fail to find a defense who can stop them.

8.) Gabriel Davis, the second swaggiest player on this Bills team

I love Davis. During my early predictions, I knew he was WR2. He just had to be. All this talent? He needs to be starting every week. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on how you look at it), Emmanuel Sanders proved to be a reliable weapon for Allen. I didn’t mind this move. Adding a veteran wideout to help out this young QB was an excellent choice. And he was producing, so it was a win-win. But Davis was there, lurking in the background. Being brought in for those clutch moments, learning as he went. As the prophecy foretold, Sunday’s game came time to unleash him, and he did not disappoint.

Five receptions for 85 yards and two touchdowns. An average of 17 yards per reception. He knows his stuff. For only being a second-year WR, he looked like a seasoned vet out there. No doubt about it, he needs to be starting each and every week. Diggs on one side and Davis on the other?

17 + 14 + 13 = Super Bowl. Bank it.

Final

This was a good win for the Buffalo Bills. Yes, their opponent weren’t exactly Super Bowl contenders, but it showed more about Buffalo. This was a balanced win. There was plenty of complementary football, something which has been sorely lacking from this team. All units of the team played well. I see no reason why this team can’t go the distance. Now, on to Foxborough.

Much like Marty McFly, Trish Patel (aka Tyler Bass Enthusiast) is a time traveller who stole a sports almanac so as to fool you mortals into believing that she can predict the stats of a game. If you come at her on social media, there is an excellent chance you'll get burnt. They don't call her @savage_trish for nothing.

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