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[BN] Blitz Bills newsletter: What to know for Monday, Sept. 18

The Bills lost to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, 9-3, evening their record at 1-1.

The Bills' defense was outstanding. The offense was the opposite.

"It would have been a thing of beauty for Buffalo's new head coach, Sean McDermott, if his offense had held up its end of the bargain, or been even remotely competent on a day when the host Panthers were prime for an upset," Jerry Sullivan wrote.

The Bills still managed to find themselves with a chance to win the game in the final minute, but Tyrod Taylor's fourth-down pass was too high for Zay Jones to haul in, and McDermott lost for the first time as a head coach.

Interestingly, "Taylor assumed none of the blame," Vic Carucci wrote. "Instead, he joined the chorus of veterans doing their best to protect their young teammate."

Jones did get his hands on the ball, but it would've been a heck of a catch. Without knowing anything about the designed route or play call, it seemed Taylor overthrew Jones.

Report card: Jay Skurski hit the Bills' running game and passing game with F's.

No such thing as moral victories: Sunday's game was simply a wasted gem by their defense, Kimberley A. Martin wrote.

If it pops, it pops: Sunday's game was the first time the Bills truly missed Sammy Watkins, Jay Skurski wrote.

So close, but yet so far: The Panthers nearly set up a replay of their 2013 loss to the Bills – the EJ Manuel comeback game –but this time the Bills couldn't finish it off.

Watch: Sean McDermott on 9-3 Bills loss to Panthers

Miss anything? Review our quarter-by-quarter breakdowns: First | SecondThirdFourth.

10 plays that shaped the game: Mark Gaughan runs down the 10 most important plays of Sunday's game, including Jordan Poyer's pass breakup in the end zone.

Woof: Sunday was one of the worst statistical games of LeSean McCoy's nine-year career.

Sack attack: The Bills' six sacks marked their highest total since 2014.

Matchup winners: The Bills' linebackers were able to contain Panthers' electric running back Christian McCaffrey.

Watch: Lifelong Panthers fans Cindy and Bob Beane on their son, the Bills GM

Student almost schools teacher: Sean McDermott came awfully close to beating his mentor, Ron Rivera, but close only counts in horseshoes (and hand grenades).

Our favorite photos: Check out James P. McCoy's top shots from Charlotte.

Watch: Our team shares their takeaways from the Bills' loss.

Tate scratched: Wide receiver Brandon Tate was a healthy scratch for the game, making way for former Panther Kaelin Clay to play.

Random fantasy stud of the week: Trevor Siemian. The Broncos QB tossed four touchdown passes in a 42-17 rout of the Cowboys.

Next week: Siemian and the "No Fly Zone" Broncos head to New Era Field

CBS' Harlan recovers, tries his best to make Bills game exciting

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