In Week 15, the Buffalo Bills will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak when the reeling Carolina Panthers come to town.
The Panthers have lost eight of their last ten games since starting 3-0, yet they sit just a game back of the seventh seed in the NFC, the Washington Football Team.
The Panthers have the league’s best pass defense, allowing just 177.6 pass yards per game. The Panthers have struggled against the run, however, sitting at just 20th in the league. They are allowing 115.3 rushing yards per game.
Overall, Carolina’s defense has quietly been one of the league’s best. They’re second in overall yardage, and eighth in points allowed. They also feature several talented players like Brian Burns, Jeremy Chinn, Shaq Thompson, and Haason Reddick.
On the other hand, Carolina has been a disaster offensively in 2021. The quarterback situation has been the biggest part of said disaster for the Panthers. Carolina has trotted out three starting quarterbacks, Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, and Cam Newton. The trio has thrown for 2,612 yards, 11 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a dreadful 69.5 passer rating, which is second-worst in the NFL. Only Jacksonville has dealt with worse quarterback play.
As for the Buffalo offense, they had a bad first half in Tampa last week, but rebounded in the second half and nearly beat the defending champions. Josh Allen threw for 308 yards on 54 attempts, and two touchdowns. Allen added 109 yards and a touchdown on the ground in his valiant effort.
In said effort, Allen suffered a mild foot sprain, and there is a chance he may not be able to play on Sunday. However, Allen was throwing at practice on Thursday without his walking boot, which is obviously a good sign. Allen may have to rely heavily on his legs against the league’s best pass defense.
The usually stingy Buffalo pass defense gave up 351 passing yards to Tom Brady which is the first time they allowed over 300 passing yards in a game. They allowed just three second-half points and allowed the Buffalo offense to climb back into the game. The secondary should be able to find success against a troubled Carolina passing offense.
Final Score Prediction: Buffalo Bills 24, Carolina Panthers 10
This game has major playoff implications for both the Bills and Panthers. The loser of this game will take a serious hit in their respective playoff chase, while the winner will not gain much ground, if any, in theirs.
Fortunately for the Bills, they host a Panthers team whose wheels have nearly fallen off the tracks. Of course, that does not matter if they cannot take care of business this week, as well as in their remaining three games after this one. Assuming Josh Allen plays, the Bills will win this one comfortably, and restart their playoff push.