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Date/Time: Sunday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m. ET
Kevin Kolb may finally get his chance to be a long-term NFL starter. Or the Bills could draft someone like Geno Smith at No. 8 overall if he falls.
Either way, the quarterback position isn’t set in Buffalo, which plays into Carolina’s hands.
Let’s assume Kolb is the quarterback Buffalo trots out against Carolina. The Panthers should be able to apply enough pressure in passing situations, as Kolb has a tendency to hold onto the ball too long.
However, what the Panthers will need to do in order to win is to keep C.J. Spiller from getting going in the running game. Even in Buffalo’s many losses in 2012, Spiller was able to accrue yardage and make spectacular plays.
Getting Manny Lawson in free agency should help Buffalo’s defense, but the Panthers should be able to do enough on the ground to keep the Bills honest. If DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart do enough on the ground, Cam Newton will be able to hit some deep passes. Newton will need to keep an eye on safety Jairus Byrd, though the corners can be attacked.
Though conditions could be colder than what Carolina is used to in Buffalo, the Panthers will return home with a win.
SCORE PREDICTION: Carolina 24, Buffalo 10