Thursday, September 12, 2013
Columnist Tom Sorensen (left) and myself pick the winner and the score of the Panthers-Bills game on Sunday in the video above.
If you think you have it bad as a Carolina Panther fan, you may want to take some "misery loves company" solace in what has happened to Buffalo.
The Bills haven't made the playoffs since after the 1999 season -- easily the longest playoff drought in the NFL. To put that in perspective, Cam Newton was 10 years old when the Bills got in, only to lose on the "Music City Miracle."
Long gone are the glory days of the early 1990s, when the Bills and quarterback Jim Kelly made four straight Super Bowls (but lost them all). The Bills haven't even had a winning season since 2004. At least the Panthers last made the playoffs in 2008; that's a whole lot better than 1999.
With all that said, these two franchises do have a lot of things in common this season entering this game. Here are three of them:
1) Both teams led at home in Week 1 entering the fourth quarter, only to lose in a fashion their fans found all too familiar to fall to 0-1.
2) Both quarterbacks (Newton and E.J. Manuel) threw for 150 yards or less without an interception in the opener and didn't have a pass play of longer than 30 yards, prompting all sorts of questions this week about "stretching the field."
3) Both teams ran the ball last week for almost exactly the same number of yards (134 for Carolina, 136 for Buffalo).
-- The Panthers lost to a rookie quarterback last season in Russell Wilson, but I don't think Manuel is as good as Wilson and won't play as mistake-free if Carolina can put pressure on him. I think Carolina will win this game by virtue of its dominating defense.
-- My prediction: Carolina 24, Buffalo 14. Tom's pick: Carolina 24, Buffalo 21.
Posted by Scott Fowler at 3:12 PM