Buffalo Bills at Carolina Panthers: Risers and Fallers

CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 17: Jerry Hughes /
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CHARLOTTE, NC – SEPTEMBER 17: Jordan Poyer /


Jordan Poyer

Jordan Poyer is easily Buffalo’s best offseason signing, and quite possibly one of the best league-wide.

Through two weeks, Poyer is the top safety in all of football, according to Pro Football Focus. He scored a 92.4 while Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith has a 90.5.

Poyer tied for a team-lead with 11 tackles and even picked up a sack and made PFF’s Team of the Week for the second week in a row. He’s been a game changer in Sean McDermott’s defense this season.

With talented playmakers like Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and Jamaal Charles coming to New Era Field on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills are going to need another big game from Poyer.

Jerry Hughes

The strength of the Buffalo defense is its front four. And Jerry Hughes leads that group.

After a dip in performance in Rex Ryan’s system the past two seasons, Hughes is back to his 2014 form, and it’s pretty impressive.

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills /

Buffalo Bills

The talented defensive end was disruptive against the Panthers, registering a pair of sacks and three tackles for a loss. Through two games Hughes ranks 14th in the league in sacks.

Hughes had a mismatch in Matt Kalil and took advantage. That’s what stars should do and it was encouraging to see Hughes stand out once again.

Colton Schmidt

Buffalo bringing in punters for workouts on Monday didn’t make much sense.

Colton Schmidt deserves almost as much credit for the slowing down of the Panthers’ offense as the defense does.

Schmidt averaged 49.5 yards on six punts this past Sunday, including a 57-yard punt and two inside the 20. Pretty impressive.

In fact, Schmidt has the fourth-most punting yards this season (554 yards) and ranks 14th in average (46.2). He’s been a stud so far.