The Panthers owned the first quarter, but had only three points to show for it.
The Bills were outgained 113-16 in the opening 15 minutes while going three-and-out on each of their first two drives.
The Bills' defense had some lapses, especially in containing quarterback Cam Newton, but should get credit keeping the score close despite being on the field for 11 minutes and 53 seconds.
The Bills gave up two long third-down conversions on Panthers' first drive. Newton connected with Kelvin Benjamin for 17 yards on third and 11, and Newton later escaped for a 15-yard gain on a third and 7. Graham Gano connected from 34 yards to open the scoring.
The Bills appeared to have several chances at Newton on his long run. Lorenzo Alexander nearly had a sack in the backfield, but Newton escaped and then ran past Ramon Humber for the first down. Humber misplayed the run, allowing Newton room to the inside of the field.
— Nick Veronica (@NickVeronica) September 17, 2017
Dareus injures ankle: Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus picked up an ankle injury during the Bills' first defensive series. His return was announced as questionable.
New kick returner: With Brandon Tate inactive, Taiwan Jones was back deep to return after the Panthers' first field goal. Gano kicked deep for a touchback.