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Mark Gaughan's Hot Read: Punchless Bills suffer an entertaining L

The Bills' offense is overmatched against an elite NFL defense.

Buffalo simply did not have enough top-end receiving weapons to do damage against the dominant Carolina Panthers' defenders in Sunday's 9-3 loss.

There's no shame in the fact LeSean McCoy was shut down. Carolina's great front seven is going to shut down a lot of running backs this season. Without Sammy Watkins, the Bills simply don't have a No. 1 receiver. The Bills need someone who is "open when he's not open" because Tyrod Taylor isn't going to slice and dice a good defense with precision passing.

Neverthless, Bills fans should not be discouraged by this defeat. If the Bills defense can play this solid, the Bills will be competitive with most teams.

Especially encouraging was the Bills' four-man rush. Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander gave the Panthers tackles fits. Leslie Frazier mixed in well-timed blitzes but didn't have to gamble with a ton of pressures.

The linebackers played smart and kept Christian McCaffrey contained. The Bills did catch a slight break when tight end Greg Olsen went out with an injury early in the second quarter. Olsen said after the game that he had a broken foot.

The Bills' D was valiant. It was entertaining defensive football.

Get ready for what might be a carbon copy game next week when Denver brings its defensive studs to town.

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