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Second-quarter analysis: Conservative playcalling fails

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills elected to play the field position game near the end of the first half, and it came back to bite them.

Facing a fourth and 3 from the Carolina 45-yard line, the Bills elected to punt. The decision backfired.

The Panthers took the ball from their 10-yard line and marched 90 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. Cam Newton went 7 of 8 for 70 yards on the drive, finishing it with a 13-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen. The Panthers took a 7-3 lead into halftime.

Making amends: Dan Carpenter redeemed himself for a miss from 42 yards in the opening quarter by drilling a 55-yard field goal toward the scoreboard end of the stadium. Carpenter’s kick opened the scoring.

Missing Andy: Colin Brown isn’t doing anything to make the Bills forget Andy Levitre. The Bills’ left guard completely whiffed on a block in the first quarter that led to Fred Jackson being dropped for a 4-yard loss. Brown was then called for a false start in the second quarter, the first penalty of the game.

Short homecoming: Panthers cornerback Josh Thomas suffered a concussion and will not return to the game. Thomas, a University at Buffalo product, was hurt making a tackle of Bills receiver Robert Woods on a reverse early in the second quarter.


Andy Levitre | Colin Brown | Dan Carpenter | Doug Marrone | Fred Jackson | Josh Thomas
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |