Sunday’s loss at Carolina was a crushing one for the Buffalo Bills. On the bright side, the defense held the Panthers to only 9 points. However, he offense was bad, plain and simple. The run game was never established and the passing game was lackluster as we have become accustomed to seeing. On defense, a couple players stood out to make an impact in keeping the game close but on offense a couple players stood out to make it seem like the Bills were down four touchdowns.
Early into the 2017 season, Poyer looks like a Pro Bowl-caliber player and a great find by Buffalo in the offseason. Poyer had 2 pass break-ups that saved touchdowns in the first half of the game. The hard-hitter gave Panthers receiver Kelvin Benjamin a hard hit to the midsection that jarred the ball loose and knocked the ball out of a receivers hands in the end zone later in the half. Poyer signed a four-year, team-friendly deal worth $13 million to lock him in through the 2020 season. So far he has looked like a steal for the Bills.
The sack artist finally got his hands on the quarterback twice this week. Hughes looks much more comfortable in Sean McDermott’s defense where he can just get after the quarterback and not worry about much else. Hughes had a total of 6 tackles in this game and is starting to look like his 2014 self where he recorded his second straight double-digit sack season. Cam Newton is a tough guy to bring down but Hughes and company found a way to keep the Bills in the game with a team total of 6, and it could have been more.
McCoy’s performance was one of the worst of his career on the stat sheet. His 12 rushes for 9 yards and 0.8 average yards per carry isn't going to help your offense control the clock and move the ball. The Panthers front seven is good, no doubt about that, but those numbers are hard to ignore. McCoy isn't the only one to blame as the offensive line struggled to control the line of scrimmage making it difficult for McCoy to be effective.
“I just didn't play well,” said McCoy after the game. “No excuses. If I'm out there I’ve gotta make plays. I didn't get it done. We didn't get it done.”
Taylor had a below-average game for him. When you go 17/25 for 125 yards averaging just 5 yards per attempt, it’s going to be hard to win games. A few times in the game Taylor locked on to one receiver and didn't look elsewhere. One third down play with a yard to go, Taylor rolled out to the left and glued his eyes on Patrick Dimarco and completely missed Nick O’leary wide open 10 yards down the field on what looked like a broken play. It looks good on the stat sheet without any turnovers but tough throws have to be made in this league.