Buffalo Bills (2-4 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Carolina Panthers (2-3 SU, 1-4 ATS), 4:05 p.m. EST, Sunday, October 25, 2009, Week 7, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C. TV: CBS
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Point Spread: Bills N/A/Panthers N/A
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Could Trent Edwards getting knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Jets with a concussion possibly be a good thing for the Bills? After Edwards left the game, Ryan Fitzpatrick replaced him and led the Bills to a comeback victory in overtime. Now, Edwards’ status for Sunday’s game against the Panthers in uncertain.
The Bills desperately needed a win to get back on track. They had lost three in a row since defeating the Buccaneers and a disappointing one-point loss to the Patriots.
For the Bills, their pass rush and pass defense has kept them in some games. They had six interceptions against the Jets on Sunday (five of them were thrown by Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez). The week before, Browns QB Derek Anderson was 2-for-17. They even made Patriots QB Tom Brady struggle in Week 1. Panthers QB Jake Delhomme does not do well under intense pressure, so it could be a rough day for him when he faces the Bills defense.
The Bills offense has really struggled this season. Edwards has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns (6-5). Terrell Owens has just 15 catches and one touchdown. Since coming off suspension, Marshawn Lynch hasn’t done much at all to help the running game.
Since coming off their bye with an 0-3 record, the Panthers have won two straight games over two of the worst teams in the league, the Buccaneers and the Redskins. They won those two games by a combined 10 points, so the Panthers still haven’t proven anything about what type of team they are this season. Their three losses came to the Eagles, Falcons and Cowboys, three pretty good teams. The Bills are probably a small step up from the Bucs and Redskins.
In the win at Tampa Bay on Sunday, DeAngelo Williams finally broke out with 152 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Stewart dominated on the ground as well with 110 yards and a touchdown. If the Panthers can run like that every game, they will be tough to beat. But Delhomme kept the game close by going just 9-for-17 for 65 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Delhomme has thrown 10 interceptions this season and just four touchdowns. He has also lost two fumbles.
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The Bills have the worst rush defense in the NFL, giving up 181.8 rushing yards per game. In their last two games, they gave up 117 yards to Browns RB Jamal Lewis and a remarkable 210 yards to Jets RB Thomas Jones. They gave up a total of 318 rushing yards to the Jets.
If Williams and Stewart are able to go wild against the Bills the same way they did against the Bucs on Sunday and the same way the Jets did against the Bills on Sunday, then the Panthers should be able to control the game. But when Delhomme has to drop back and pass, the Bills will put a lot of pressure on him and force him to make some bad throws. The Bills won’t score many points on offense, especially with their QB situation in limbo this week, but they will rely on their defense to get stops and create turnovers.
The Panthers are 1-4 ATS this season. The total has gone over in nine of their last 13 games. The Bills are 5-1 ATS in their last six road games. The total has gone over in five of the Bills’ last six road games. The Bills haven’t won back-to-back road games since 2004.
Ryno’s Pick: The Panthers should be able to dominate on the ground against the Bills. Delhomme may have problems completing passes, but he was awful against the Bucs and his team still won by a touchdown. The Bills offense is not very good, and now they don’t know who will be their QB on Sunday. Expect a lot of running from both teams in this game. It’s unlikely the Bills will win back-to-back road games, so the Panthers are a good bet. But with all of the running combined with terrible quarterbacks, the under is the way to go. Take the under.