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Nick Veronica's quarterly analysis: Panthers nearly repeat 2013 blunder

In Week Two of the 2013 season, Ron Rivera's Panthers kicked a field goal on fourth and 1 to take a six-point lead with less than two minutes to go before EJ Manuel led a dramatic comeback for the first win of his career. A fourth-down conversion would've put the game away.

The Panthers nearly repeated that scenario in Week Two of 2017, kicking a field goal from the Bills' 2-yard line with 2:35 left to take a six-point lead when converting on the fourth down would've put the game away. (Worst case, the Bills would've had to drive 98 yards to win when they had only gained 124 the whole game.)

But Tyrod Taylor's offense couldn't complete the comeback Sunday, with his fourth-down pass going off the finger tips of rookie Zay Jones, who was open but overthrown.

The Bills' defense deserves praise for Sunday's effort, even coming up with a goal-line stand late in the fourth on a hot day when the Panthers held the ball for two-thirds of the game. It yielded only nine points and 255 yards, proving that the unit is no fluke after a good opening game against the lowly Jets.

As for the offense? It came alive in the fourth quarter, gaining 89 of its 176 yards, but looks to be in rough shape. LeSean McCoy gained only 9 yards on 12 carries for the second-lowest average of his nine-year career.

Friendly bounce: Steven Hauschka scored the Bills' only points, banking a 45-yard field goal in off the right upright.

First quarter analysis: Bills offense going nowhere, but Panthers lead only 3-0

Second quarter analysis: Clay's hot streak continues as Bills hold slim lead on Jets, 7-6

Third quarter analysis: Bills' defense keeping them in the game, hammering Newton, Panthers

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