Week 2 for the Bills as they host Cam Newton and the Panthers Sunday. Big game for Buffalo- home game, chance to get its first W of the season, opportunity to build on the encouraging signs from Week 1. That said, let's get to the mailbag.
1) From CJ... Will the game be a sellout or blackout?
As of Friday, the game is a sellout. But to some fans it will also be a blackout, if you catch my drift.
2) From John... Is CJ Spiller going to get back to form?
Of course. He's never been great against the Patriots so Week 1 was not a shock. Plus he said he was impatient with his runs. Not waiting for holes to open up. But it's one game. Whether it's your favorite team or your fantasy team, overreacting after one game is silly. They play 16 for a reason. I think you'll see his first monster performance Week 3 at the Jets.
3) From Rich... Can this D slow down Cam Newton?
Absolutely. Newton is a wild card. He either plays really well or terrible. The Bills pass rush will force him to make quick decisions so as long as the linebackers contain him, he wont light it up. But I'm more concerned about the Panthers defense.
4) Speaking of which... From Ed... With the Panthers revamped front 7, how long til CJ Spiller pukes again?
Ed's of course referring to the training camp hyperbole from offensive coordinator Nate Hackett, who said he'll run Spiller until he pukes. Mm, eloquent. Anyway, Spiller didn't run free against the run-stuffing Patriots and I think he'll struggle against the Panthers too. Carolina's front seven is really strong and features two of the best tackling linebackers in the game with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis. So to answer Ed's question, Spiller doesn't puke until Week 3 at the Jets- who he puked on last year for 325 total yards and two touchdowns. And one more time for good measure, puke.
5) From Mohamad... Should we be worried about Carolina's D holding Seattle's high-powered offense to one TD?
Yeah, but I wouldn't call Seattle's offense high-powered. Dual threat QB and good RB but the rest of it is nothing to write home about. I'm more concerned with the Bills offense staying on the field and keeping the defense fresh. Gotta move the chains, convert on 3rd down and avoid penalties. You know, those little things that win ball games. They'll have their hands full against the Panthers front seven, so the passing game has to be on point.
6) From Kevin... How do you think the Panthers will play EJ Manuel?
They will force EJ Manuel to win this game. Carolina will pack the box and do their damndest to stop the run. If so, EJ Manuel needs to be on target and lead his down field with his arm - and I'm not talking hand offs.
7) From Redneck Pharaoh... Can they at least work out Billy as a back up? #BillsMafia
And now... introducing your back up quarterback for the Buffalo Bills... he used to be the mascot but not anymore... standing 8 feet tall... Billy the Buffalo... Man, he'd be awesome on short yardage downs.
8) From Dave... How do we attack Panthers D? Play action? Heavy dose of Fred/CJ?
Do all the little things right. Penalties/turnovers: bad. Getting 1st Downs: good. Simple stuff. Run effectively and air it out to keep the defense honest.
9) From The Sir... I legitimately believe the Bills can win 10 out of their next 10 games. Question, do you?!
10) From Drunk Buffalo... Do you think the Bills will continue to run out of the same shotgun formation? And if we get the run game going, could we see some play action?
Yes and yes. The shotgun formation is standard for the pistol offense. It gives quarterback EJ Manuel multiple options- hand the ball off, pass, fake the handoff and pass, fake the hand off and run. The better the running game, the more linebackers will bite on the play action, which opens up the middle of the field. For that to happen, O-Line has to create holes for ball carriers and keep Manuel protected.
11) From Raging Demon... Early impression on Mario in the new scheme?
Really like it. Mario is an attacker. Not a coverage guy. Even if he doesn't get the sack, he creates pressure on the pocket and causes mismatches that allow his teammates to make the play. He and the defense can only get better, which is a great sign considering they were really good against the Patriots.
12) From Andy... When will Mario get his first sack and will he ever earn his 100 million dollar payday?
I think he'll get it against the Panthers. Cam Newton can move but sometimes he moves too much. Just need a linebacker to contain him until Mario and the other pass rushers sack him. As for the 100 mill, ask me again after week 17.
13) From Buffalo Bills Girl... Are all of the penalties a result of youth and over eagerness? And do you expect them to clean it up in week 2?
I think youth is an easy excuse. If you're a professional, play like one. Penalties were a problem all preseason and the Bills have enough mountains to climb to deal with dumb penalties. It's a lack of focus, not youth. They'll clean it up a bit in Week 2- fewer nerves and less pressure cause it's not the Patriots- but the ongoing problem wont go away immediately.
14) From Del... Will you be signing autographs at the #BillsMafiaTweet Up this Sunday?
The only autographs I sign are my bar tabs. But in all seriousness, I will be there thanking people for their support. For those who don't know, the BillsMafia - the Bills non-profit fan club who raises money for local charities - has a fundraising event out by the Stadium this Sunday before the Panthers game. For details, go here.
Thanks for all the questions. Sorry I couldn't answer more. Feel free to send me questions anytime on Twitter: @JonahJavad
or by email at Jonah.Javad@wgrz.com
. Then check back every Friday morning to see if they made the mailbag.