The Buffalo Bills (7-6) are in desperate need of wins as they enter the final four games of the regular season.
That stretch begins Sunday with a 1 p.m. ET home game against the Carolina Panthers (5-8) in Week 15, a team that head coach Sean McDermott and general manager Brandon Beane are very familiar with.
Buffalo currently sits in seventh place in a crowded AFC playoff picture and holds the final AFC Wild Card spot, but the Bills are one of five teams with a 7-6 record with four regular season games remaining.
McDermott served as the franchise’s defensive coordinator for six years before accepting Buffalo’s head coaching job before the 2017 season, while Beane was with the Panthers in various roles for 19 years before joining the Bills as GM in May of 2017.
Buffalo is looking to build upon a successful second-half performance during last week’s 33-27 overtime loss to Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bills rallied from a 24-3 halftime deficit but couldn’t finish a potential game-winning touchdown drive late, settling for a field goal that forced overtime. The Bills suffered their second straight loss, and fourth in their last six games, when Brady connected with Breshad Perriman on a 58-yard touchdown toss in overtime.
All-Pro quarterback Josh Allen completed 36 of 54 passes for 308 yards with two touchdowns (and an interception) while adding 109 rushing yards with one touchdown, becoming just the third quarterback to pass for 300 yards and rush for 100 yards in a regular-season game in the history of the NFL.
But Buffalo’s No. 1 ranked pass defense allowed Brady to pass for 363 yards with two touchdowns as the Buccaneers rolled up 488 yards of total offense.
The Panthers have lost their last three and eight of their last ten games since starting the season 3-0. Last week, Carolina fell to the Atlanta Falcons by a 29-21 score. Cam Newton completed 15 of 23 passes for 178 yards with an interception, and added 47 rushing yards with one touchdown, but the Panthers turned the ball over three times and went just 4-of-11 on third down conversions in the loss.
Sunday’s matchup is the eighth all-time between these teams, with Buffalo holding a 5-2 edge in the all-time series.
The last time Buffalo and Carolina squared off, neither team scored a touchdown in the game. The Bills — who were limited to 176 net yards of offense — sacked Cam Newton six times, led by two sacks from Jerry Hughes, but Buffalo suffered a 9-3 setback on Sept. 17, 2017.
The last time Carolina came to Orchard Park, EJ Manuel found Stevie Johnson for a two-yard touchdown pass to lift the Bills to a 24-23 win on Sept. 15, 2013. Johnson hauled in eight passes for 111 yards, C.J. Spiller rushed for 103 yards on just 16 carries, and Mario Williams sacked Newton 4.5 times to set a single-game franchise record for sacks in a game.
Buffalo is listed as a 10.5-point favorite vs. Carolina, according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The Bills will be wearing their color rush red jerseys and red pants with their white helmet. Here are all the ways to catch Sunday’s game from home:
Date: Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Channel: The game will be carried on FOX on WUTV in Buffalo, WUHF in Rochester, WFXV and WSYT in Syracuse and Utica, WSYT in Binghamton and Elmira, WYDC in Elmira, and WWNY and WNYF in Watertown. View the broadcast map.
Announcers: Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Jonathan Vilma (analyst), and Lindsay Czarniak (sideline reporter).
Streaming: FuboTV and the Buffalo Bills app (especially helpful for those with DIRECTV)
Location: Highmark Stadium | Orchard Park, N.Y.
Radio: WGR 550 AM (Buffalo), WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM (Rochester), Fan 590 AM (Toronto), WKRL 100.9 FM and 106.5 FM (Syracuse), and the rest of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.
Radio Play-by-Play: John Murphy and Eric Wood with sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
Online: NFL Game Pass, NFL.com Game Center
Line: Bills by 13
Twitter: Follow @BuffRumblings for complete Bills coverage on Twitter before, during, and after every game.
Facebook: Like Buffalo Rumblings on Facebook!
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Thursday Injury Report
- Did not practice: RB Taiwan Jones (knee), WR Emmanuel Sanders (knee).
- Limited participant: QB Josh Allen (foot), DE Jerry Hughes (foot), DT Star Lotulelei (toe).
- Full participant: LB Jermaine Carter Jr. (groin), OL John Miller (ankle).
- Limited participant: OL Michael Jordan (hamstring), WR DJ Moore (hamstring).
- Did not practice: QB Matt Barkley (illness), CB AJ Bouye (foot).