KEY PLAYER: JULIUS PEPPERS
The veteran pass rusher performed well in his return to Bank of America Stadium as a Carolina Panther, registering 2 sacks and 6 tackles. Peppers, a likely Hall of Fame candidate, returned to the Panthers this offseason after spending the past seven years with the Bears and Packers. He spent his first eight years as a Panther after they drafted him second overall out of North Carolina in the 2002 NFL Draft. Peppers is being used in a rotational role in order to keep him fresh, and judging by Sunday’s performance it seems to be working.
GAME RECAP AND ANALYSIS
The Carolina Panthers have now played two games, but have still yet to give up a touchdown. This Panthers defense has been incredibly impressive, giving up only two field goals through eight quarters of play. Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor missed a wide open Zay Jones for a touchdown on what would have given the Bills a late lead, but despite this lucky break the Panthers defense still deserves immense praise for their performance. Elite running back LeSean McCoy was held to just 9 yards rushing on 12 carries, as once again the Panthers’ front seven proved they are one of the best units in the league.
Greg Olsen, the Panthers’ veteran tight end who serves as a safety blanket for Newton, broke his foot during Sunday’s game. Despite sounding gruesome, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Olsen should only miss about six games.
Cam Newton scared Panthers’ fans when he remained down after a big hit, grasping his ankle. Newton returned to the game, and reports are that he is “just sore” and will be fine to play next week.