X-factors for the Buffalo Bills in Week 15 against the Carolina Panthers

Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports)
Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Buffalo Bills
Jerry Hughes, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Pass Rush

After a strong start to the year with 12 sacks in the first four games, the Buffalo Bills haven’t gotten much of a pass rush with 11 sacks in the last nine games. Head coach Sean McDermott was asked this week about the production from his defensive line and if he needs more from them.

McDermott didn’t avoid the question and said ‘100% yes’ according to Heather Prusak. He goes on to note that there needs to be some patience with younger players but it is an important part of their defense.

While the Buffalo Bills do have some young players, like defensive ends A.J. Epenesa, Greg Rousseau, Boogie Basham, they have a number of veterans on this line as well, like Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, and Efe Obada.

This season, the Panthers’ quarterbacks have been sacked 32 times however 21 of them were on Sam Darnold in the first seven games. Since that stretch, they have only allowed 11 in the past six games and this is due in large part to the return of Cam Newton.

The mobile quarterback has done a good job avoiding sacks and this will create a challenge for the defensive front. If the Bills can find a way to get pressure, this will certainly help the team come away with a win in Week 15.