2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers lose another close one, 24-23 to Bills

By NICK MENDOLA - Associated Press
    2013-09-15 18:19

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - The Carolina Panthers' close losses are becoming more and more painful.

In the latest, they gave up a last-second touchdown to the Buffalo Bills in a 24-23 defeat Sunday.

``This is like going to the dentist and getting several teeth pulled without any anesthesia, laughing gas, nothing,'' said Panthers receiver Steve Smith. ``It's tough and it's sickening.''

The Panthers failed on multiple opportunities to close out the Bills and rookie quarterback EJ Manuel despite forcing two fourth-quarter turnovers by Buffalo. Carolina had to settle for field goals from Graham Gano both times.

Manuel then led a nine-play, 80-yard drive in 96 seconds, finding Stevie Johnson in the left corner of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown pass with 2 seconds left.

The Panthers fell to 2-14 in games decided by 7 points or less under coach Ron Rivera.

``We had an opportunity to win the game and close it out and we couldn't do it,'' said Rivera. ``That's the bottom line. We had a chance to make plays, and we didn't.''

The Panthers opened the season with a 12-7 loss to Seattle during which they squandered a 7-6 fourth-quarter lead.

Injuries to their already-thin secondary also played a role against Buffalo.

Carolina lost cornerback Josh Thomas to a concussion in the first half and safety Charles Godfrey to a right Achilles tendon injury in the second. Reserve defensive backs Josh Norman and Quintin Mikell were also slowed by injuries during the game.

``Everything that could've gone wrong did,'' Carolina linebacker Thomas Davis said.

The Panthers opened up a 23-17 lead thanks to some strong plays by Cam Newton, who finished 21 of 38 for 229 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But he couldn't turn two Bills turnovers deep in Buffalo territory into touchdowns.

``Our efficiency in the red zone has to be better, starting with me,'' Newton said.

Newton threw a 40-yard touchdown to Ted Ginn Jr. on Carolina's first drive of the second half, but the Panthers' deep game otherwise struggled.

``We were just this far off with shots down the field,'' Newton said. ``We thought we'd give our guys an opportunity, Steve, Ted, those guys.''

It was the first victory for the new-look Bills under Manuel and coach Doug Marrone. The win came on a day when the Bills honored their 28-member Wall of Fame - a group that includes Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Marv Levy - during a halftime ceremony, and a week after the Bills squandered a last-second lead in a 23-21 season-opening loss to the New England Patriots.

Manuel became the fifth NFL rookie since 1960 to engineer a fourth-quarter comeback in his first or second game.

Bills defensive end Mario Williams set a team record with 4 1/2 sacks.

The Panthers' usually stout defense had an unlikely second-half meltdown. The Bills had four scoring drives on six possessions - and also scored on a 2-point conversion when Manuel hit rookie receiver Robert Woods.

It was another lead the Panthers couldn't hold.

``I'm not going to finger point or any of that,'' Smith said. ``I just know that overall, our result was a loss.''

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ More ]

Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

Jordan ReedNov 26 04:13p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26, according to head coach Jay Gruden.

R. Griffin IIINov 26 02:53p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III needs more seasoning, and he'll likely do it from the bench for the rest of this season, according to head coach Jay Gruden. [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 26 02:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) has an excellent chance to return in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans after missing the last two games.

Mark SanchezNov 26 02:23p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Mark Sanchez has thrown six interceptions this year, but all of them haven't been game-changing turnovers. In Week 12 against the Tennessee Titans, Sanchez thrived on [ More ]

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