CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers head into their home opener against the Buffalo Bills who also boast the same record at 1-0. But there is a lot more to look at than just the overall record, as the Panthers will face their former defensive coordinator, and now Bills first-year head coach Sean McDermott.
McDermott spent the last 6 years with the Panthers as the team's defensive coordinator but now is at the helm for the Bills, with a chance to defeat his former team on the road.
But that is not the only familiar face on the Bill's roster as Mike Tolbert, Joe Webb and many others will be making the trip back down to Charlotte.
While McDermott may be familiar with Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and his tendencies in the pocket, the one difference this year, is McDermott has never competed against running back Christian McCaffrey.
"I really appreciate the time that I spent there," McDermott said of Carolina during a Monday press conference. "There are great people around that organization, and it'll be a huge challenge for us to go down there. It's their home opener. But I also know the work we have to put in this week, so that's where my focus really is right now.
The 8th overall pick was targeted seven times in the passing game in the opener at San Francisco, and it is only a matter of time before McCaffrey will turn a couple of those receptions into long, momentum-changing plays.
So as well as McDermott knows Newton in this chess match, he can't predict how Newton and offensive coordinator Mike Shula will use McCaffrey and the other offensive weapons at this disposal.
It may be a homecoming for McDermott back at Bank of America Stadium, but the Panthers have too much talent to let their first home game of the season turn into their first loss of 2017.
Remember, you can catch all the action right here on WFMY News 2, your home of the Carolina Panthers. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
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