Carolina's first 5 drives have not been anything to write home about: 4 punts and an interception so far. It remains Buffalo 7, Carolina 0 midway through the second quarter.
The Panthers' best chance at scoring so far came midway through the second quarter, but was not helped along by its head coach.
John Fox -- who has been going for it on fourth down more often this year -- reverted to his conservative ways early in the second quarter. On fourth-and-inches from the Buffalo 25, Fox sent out kicker John Kasay. And Kasay, usually automatic from the 43-yard distance, made this timid decision look even worse by hooking the ball wide right.
A look at a couple of key Panther players so far:
-- Steve Smith, who said he no longer was an "asset" to the Panthers after catching 1 ball for 4 yards, has caught a couple of passes, but the longest only for 10 yards (that drew a huge cheer from the fans). On this blog I predicted Smith would touch the ball within Carolina's first 5 plays in this game -- he caught a 5-yard pass on Carolina's second offensive play.
-- Jonathan Stewart left with a hand injury, which required rookie Mike Goodson to carry the ball for a couple of plays. But Stewart is now back.
-- Julius Peppers has been playing well early: he's made a couple of nice plays in the running game. He also has been unusually demonstrative, going down the sideline to slap about 10 teammates' hands in a row and also seeking out a nearby Terrell Owens after one play to slap hands with him.
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