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Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers: game balls

The defense dominated but it was hard to find an offensive player that earned this

NFL: Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills fell to the Carolina Panthers in a defensive struggle by a final score of 9-3. The defense stepped up for virtually the entire game but the offense couldn’t muster enough momentum to get more than three points.

We award game balls after each game to one deserving player from each side of the ball.

Defense - S Jordan Poyer

There were a few guys on the defense that could have earned this. The Bills only gave up a total of 255 yards and were forced to be on the field for nearly 40 minutes of game time. It’s shocking they didn’t wear out and give up a touchdown. The best defensive player in my eyes was safety Jordan Poyer. The free agent signing had 11 tackles to lead the team, seven of which were solo, one sack, and a few key pass breakups in the red zone which forced field goals. Poyer has proven to be one of the best additions to the defense this season.

Offense - WR Jordan Matthews

This was difficult to figure out. The offense was atrocious in the first half, only gaining 39 yards and one first down. It got slightly better in the second half, but the team still managed only 176 yards total in the game. Wide receiver Jordan Matthews probably gave himself the best case for getting the game ball. Matthews only had three receptions for 30 yards (It was a rough day), but he had a critical 15-yard reception on third down. Matthews also brought in every ball thrown his way. Tyrod Taylor had 55 rushing yards on top of his dismal 125-yard passing performance to lead the team in yards from scrimmage.

Special Teams - P Colton Schmidt

In a low-scoring affair, Schmidt was very good on Sunday averaging almost 50 yards per punt (49.5) and netting 44.5 on those kicks. Kaelin Clay muffed a punt for Buffalo, there were no kickoff returns to speak of, and Stephen Hauschka had to bank it in for the Bills only points of the day.

Previous game balls

Week 1
S Jordan Poyer, RB LeSean McCoy, HC Sean McDermott