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Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers: First-half open thread

The Bills control their fate in the race for a second straight AFC East crown

Buffalo Bills v Carolina Panthers Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills host the Carolina Panthers today in a critical game for their playoff chances. Mathematically speaking, this contest is also critical for Carolina’s postseason chances, though those are far longer odds than the Bills currently have.

Thanks to last night’s outcome, a 27-17 victory for the Indianapolis Colts over the New England Patriots, Buffalo has a clear path to victory in the AFC East. They need to win all four of their remaining games, including next week’s showdown at New England, and they will finish 11-6 and on top of their division. Next week’s game won’t be for a divisional crown, however, if Buffalo doesn’t take care of business today.

That business became infinitely harder this week as the team announced that two starting offensive linemen were placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Dion Dawkins and Jon Feliciano will both miss today’s contest, which leaves a patchwork unit up front to protect quarterback Josh Allen. During last week’s 33-27 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Allen suffered a foot sprain, and while he does not carry an injury designation this week, it’s quite likely that the injury will limit his mobility some.

This is your open thread for the first half, friends. Make sure to toggle the comments to “oldest” for that classic game thread feel. Be civil to each other. Most importantly, enjoy the game wherever it is that you’re watching it.

Go Bills!