Week 12: Bills vs. Panthers
The Bills come home licking their wounds after the shellacking at the hands of the Chargers last Sunday that all but killed their playoff hopes for a sixth straight season. The team isn't giving up, saying that they are alive being only two games behind the Patriots in the AFC East. The Panthers had their six game winning streak snapped by the Bears last Sunday as they look to get back on track. Carolina is the only team in the league the Bills have never lost to.
FACTS AND FIGURES
||Buffalo (4-6) vs. Carolina (7-3)
||Ralph Wilson Stadium
||Sam Rosen, Bill Maas, & Jay Glazer
||Panthers by 4½
||Bills lead 3-0
||Bills 25-24 in Buffalo (2001)
||Rush (26th); Pass (15th); overall (24th)
||Rush (4th); Pass (18th); overall (7th)
||Rush (15th); Pass (29th); overall (29th)
||Rush (31st); Pass (6th); overall (21st)
The two big injuries right now for the Bills are too Sam Adams and Terrence McGee. Adams has an ankle problem that forced him out of the Chargers game. He is day to day. McGee has been bothered by a strained hamstring the past few weeks. It limited his play against San Diego. Greg Jerman has missed a month with a high ankle sprain. Lawyer Milloy and Mark Campbell got banged up against the Chargers but should be fine. Troy Vincent should also be good to go despite getting a gash to the head last week.
The Panthers are rather healthy. Their biggest injury is to LB Dan Morgan. He has a sprained ankle that may hamper his availability against the Bills. TE Kris Mangum has missed two games with a knee injury.
Bills Daily Injury Page
CB Nate Clements vs. WR Steve Smith:
Clements looks to battle back from the worst game of his career. He will be out to prove something this week but faces perhaps the best receiver in the league in Smith. He is having an MVP type of season and leads the league in receiving yards, receptions, and receiving touchdowns.
RT Jason Peters vs. DE Julius Peppers:
Peters was taken to school last week in San Diego now he faces Peppers who may be the best player on the Panthers defense.
LT Mike Gandy vs. DE Mike Rucker:
While Peppers may be the best defensive player for the Panthers, Rucker leads in sacks with 6½. Gandy struggled a bit last week and needs to protect Losman's blind side.
DE Aaron Schobel vs. LT Travelle Wharton:
Schobel will have his hands full with the 2nd year pro who has 21 starts to his credit. Schobel needs to get pressure to give the snake bit secondary a chance.
WR Lee Evans vs. CB Chris Gamble:
Evans is enjoying a bit of a resurgence with J.P. Losman back at the helm at QB. Gamble is a rookie, a good one, but a rookie nonetheless. Evans should be able to exploit him a bit but they need to be careful as he is tied for the team lead with four interceptions.
LBs London Fletcher vs. RBs Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster:
If the Bills are going to win they need to shutdown the 1-2 punch of Davis and Foster. They pretty much split the carries but they are different types of backs. Fletcher needs to be on his game to help shutdown the run.
When The Bills Have The Ball: The Bills have abandoned the running game the past two weeks because they have faced very tough run defenses. This week is no different and look for them to attack their opponent's weakness once again. Expect a steady dose of downfield passes. If they are successful that should open up the running game for Willis McGahee who hasn't been able to get going the past few weeks.
When The Panthers Have The Ball: The Panthers will try to get the ball to their playmaker in Smith. QB Jake Delhomme doesn't have as much confidence in his other receiving threats. They will also try to mix it up with the running game and swing passes to Foster.
BILLS DAILY PREDICTION
The Bills are a much different team at home and that's good news. The defense usually shows up for home games and the Panthers don't have a prolific offense like the last two opponents. The team also usually responds well after getting beat. That being said, the Panthers are just plain better. They are one of the favorites to make it to the big show. They usually win games like this, and they will win this one:
Panthers 17, Bills 7
Season Prediction Record: (6-4)
Season Record Against The Spread: (5-5)
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