Hot Hits

Catcalls: “Multiple defensive fronts” put Buffalo Bills in position to contend

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Luke Kuechly helped shut down the Baltimore Ravens offense.

Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Luke Kuechly helped shut down the Baltimore Ravens offense.

The Carolina Panthers (0-1) visit Ralph Wilson Stadium this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. ET to face off with the Buffalo Bills (0-1).

This week I sat down with Matt Warren of BuffaloRumblings.com. My editorial comments are in italics.

WCS: What is your take on the poor performance by running back C.J. Spiller last week against the New England Patriots? Fred Jackson, who has a very similar skill set, seemed to do fine in the game; what was the difference? How can you see that progressing against the very stout Carolina front seven?

BR: Our editor-in-chief Brian Galliford broke it down on our website earlier this week. It was a combination of poor blocking and poor field vision by Spiller added to the fact that defensive tackle Vince Wilfork can be pretty darn good. Spiller said he reverted to some mistakes he made as a rookie. A fumble on the second play from scrimmage and a hard hit that briefly knocked him from the game could also have played a part. Hopefully he can move forward and regain his dynamic form.

Wilfork is every bit of “pretty darn good,” but the Carolina defensive line is collectively better than New England’s. Will they be as disciplined this week? If yes, this will be another very bad week for Spiller. All those football fans who used a high pick on him in fantasy football will make him the most reviled Buffalo back since O.J. Simpson.

WCS: Name a Buffalo player with whom casual Carolina fans may not be familiar but who will impress them in tomorrow’s game.

BR: I’ll go with linebacker Manny Lawson, who will be charged with setting the edge in the run game and staying home to prevent quarterback Cam Newton from running wild on pass plays. He’ll drop into coverage, too.

WCS: Since the beginning of the 2011 season, the Bills have only faced one rushing quarterback: Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks last December 16th. In that game, Buffalo surrendered 270 rushing yards at an 8.4 yards per carry, allowing Wilson to scramble for 92 yards and three touchdowns. They lost 50-17. What is different about Buffalo or about the Carolina run game that similar results will not occur this time? Does facing another running, read-option quarterback worry Buffalo fans at all?

BR: The big difference is Mike Pettine has replaced Dave Wannstedt as defensive coordinator. The Seahawks knew exactly where the Bills defenders were going to be. If there’s one thing about Pettine’s defense that he picked up in Baltimore and with the Jets, it’s the multiple defensive fronts. Buffalo went into the offseason seeking versatile players to keep offenses guessing, and that’s the main difference.

His point about Pettine is the only thing I have heard that makes me consider the possibility that the Bills will be able to contend in this game. I have great respect for what his former teams have accomplished defensively. The homer in me wonders if last week against the Patriots was all Buffalo or the numerous growing pains and miscommunications from the New England offense that we saw again on Thursday.

WCS: Name three Buffalo players who need to have strong performances for Buffalo to win the game. Why? And why do you think they can or can’t?

BR: First, quarterback E.J. Manuel. The Bills installed a simple gameplan for the rookie’s first game. Against this front seven, Buffalo’s going to need to throw to move the ball and score. That means the rook needs to step up and he proved capable last week.

Second, Kiko Alonso. Another rookie, Buffalo’s middle linebacker will need to help control the Panthers rushing game. I’m less confident this will happen.

Third, wide receiver T.J. Graham. He’s the guy that needs to take the top off of the defense to allow the other receivers and backs a little more freedom underneath and in the run game. One solid shot from Manuel down the field to Graham could make all the difference.

I don’t know that one early completion deep to Graham or anyone will alter the Panthers’ gameplan. Carolina does not need to send extra players to the line to pressure the quarterback or cover the running backs, but numerous successful deep passes would alter things for the offense.

WCS: Assuming Buffalo wins, would you rather it be by less than a touchdown or by over 20 points? Why?

BR: After a two-point loss to the Patriots, I’ll take whatever win we can get. I don’t think I will be any more excited with such a young, inconsistent team if it’s a blowout.

WCS: Both teams have more similarities than just narrow defeats to highly ranked conference opponents in Week 1. Both teams lean more on their run game than passing. Both teams have scramblers at quarterback. Both teams have just one high-quality wide receiver with a supporting cast of uncertain guys orbiting around him. Riff a little on your view of the two teams. How are they different, what are key match-ups, and what do you see as the final score in the game?

BR: I’ll start with the score. I think the game plan will be opened up for E.J. Manuel. I think Buffalo’s receivers group has a little more potential as Stevie Johnson is the only guy with more than one season of experience. Facing a tough front 7, Buffalo will open up the pass plays with big plays going for their offense and the Panthers defense. I’ll pick 28-24 Bills just because I liked what Buffalo’s defense showed me last week. The secondary wasn’t as devastatingly bad as I anticipated but there are a lot of young guys there, too. It’s a pattern repeated down the roster. The two secondaries are going to determine the outcome.

Thanks for having me and GO BILLS!

If the secondaries decide the game that means at least interceptions get brought back for long returns. If that happens, I would think it is more likely that the interceptions are thrown by a rookie quarterback who is being harassed all day by a top-five front seven. I’m not sure I would be so high on the Buffalo defense. They allowed 5.4 yards per rush last week against New England. Now they face DeAngelo Williams, Mike Tolbert and Cam Newton. The Buffalo Bills’ softest spot will get gouged and the Panthers get a comfortable 24-13 win.

338 comments
Rarely Evenn
Rarely Evenn

Congrats to Steven Jackson for scoring against his former team.

MNvikeinNC
MNvikeinNC

I hope the Packers lose today on a horrible call from the refs.

SDL's head might explode due to an abundance of curse words trying to escape his body too fast.

ARodge is the GOAT... Fact.  Period.
ARodge is the GOAT... Fact. Period.

Biggest diff b/w the Fail Mary and the Fucktard Zebras public ass-raping of the Badgers:

.

80% of the viewing public was asleep when the shit went down

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

Bears by 70.

Bears 83 Vikes 13

natesweet
natesweet moderator

Damn! THere is a hawk going after a pigeon mid air right outside my window.

MNvikeinNC
MNvikeinNC

What's up with the people protesting in Cheeseville?
Equal rights for gay players? (I assume)

natesweet
natesweet moderator

Gameday chat is now embedded in article. Please refresh

MNvikeinNC
MNvikeinNC

Anybody else watch the fight last night?

Mayweather gives people boxing lessons each time out. 

robertj72
robertj72

Are we linking that other chat site or just waiting to see how long until Livefyre shits it's pants?

robertj72
robertj72

Half an hour to happy time!!!

aciddragon
aciddragon

weather in Seattle looks like shit today, could be a really sloppy game 

matt_vfalcon32
matt_vfalcon32

now the nfl is gonna fine players for using profanity towards other players...smh.

ARodge is the GOAT... Fact.  Period.
ARodge is the GOAT... Fact. Period.

@MNvikeinNC 

.

Why don't you hold your breath waiting for that to happen, guppy.  I make no effort to control the string of obscenities I post here

.

It's cathartic, dumbass

.

(better Google it.. you're in NC, after all)

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

SDL will rape your dog.

MNvikeinNC
MNvikeinNC

@MIBearFan That close?

I would find it hard to believe that 96 points can be scored on a horse pasture.

ARodge is the GOAT... Fact.  Period.
ARodge is the GOAT... Fact. Period.

@MNvikeinNC 

.

Fucktard NCAA zebras pulled the biggest incompetent and corrupt fuck up in the history of college football**

.

Pubilcly ass-raped the Badgers and influenced the outcome of the game.  

Without justification.

Without reason.

Without explaining shit to the coaches.

Without even fucking consulting the replay.

Utterly fucking disgraceful.

.

**I'm not a college football fan - so take it with that fucking grain of salt

MNvikeinNC
MNvikeinNC

@Natesweet I'd get in a fight for sure if I spent $150 on a ticket and that douchebag was sitting in front of me.

MNvikeinNC
MNvikeinNC

@aciddragon In equally stunning news ... Kate Upton has big tits, Clay Aiken is a fruit, and it gets cold in Alaska.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

@aciddragon I bet it warms up and the low lying clouds burn off. Same here in Portland today.

robertj72
robertj72

@matt_vfalcon32 They are such hypocrites...Those foul mouths bleeped out are 50% of their NFL Films sideline coverage.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan moderator

I'm not the one fucking domesticated pets.

natesweet
natesweet moderator

@MNvikeinNC @Natesweet What about the people next to him too? You know every time he turned his head he'd smack em with his stupid head gear.

ARodge is the GOAT... Fact.  Period.
ARodge is the GOAT... Fact. Period.

@jmac3444 @SDL

.

Worse than the Fail Mary in certain respects.

.

Zero fucking effort to consult replay.  

.

The cunts LIGHT RALLY ran the fuck away like the brainless, spineless fucktarded cowards they are

.

Fact.  Period.  

Pffffttttt!!!