Panthers 13, Bills 9

Preview | Box Score | Recap

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)—Unable to find Steve Smith, Jake Delhomme settled for another option with the game on the line: third-string tight end Michael Gaines.

Gaines’ 3-yard touchdown catch lifted the Carolina Panthers to a 13-9 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Gaines scored with 2:16 remaining in a game dominated by defense and field goals.

The Bills’ last chance ended when Chris Gamble intercepted J.P. Losman’s throw to Roscoe Parrish in the left flat in the final minute. Parrish appeared to slip on the play, and Losman’s pass was underthrown.

Delhomme finished 20-of-27 for 191 yards, bouncing back after he had thrown four interceptions in his previous two games.

DeShaun Foster had 23 carries for a season-high 77 yards, helping the Panthers (8-3) erase the dreadful memories of last weekend’s 13-3 loss at Chicago.

Rian Lindell accounted for all of Buffalo’s scoring, hitting all three field goals, including a 45-yarder.

Losman, making his second straight start, went 16-of-29 for a career-high 197 yards. His problem was an inability to find the end zone as the Bills (4-7) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Delhomme had to remain patient as the Bills contained his favorite target, Smith. The NFL’s leading receiver was limited to three catches for 55 yards.

Down 9-6 after Lindell hit a 33-yard field goal with 10 minutes left, Delhomme took over at the Carolina 32. He marched the Panthers on a 14-play, 68-yard drive, capped with the third-down pass over the middle to Gaines, who had a step on Coy Wire.

Delhomme’s best completion came on a touch pass, hitting Ricky Proehl a step behind Jabari Greer for 24 yards earlier in the drive.

It was the ninth time in Delhomme’s career and first this season he’s engineered a fourth-quarter comeback.

John Kasay rounded out Carolina’s scoring, hitting two of three field goal attempts. He missed a 45-yarder wide right in the third quarter in relatively calm conditions.

Buffalo took a 6-3 lead on Lindell’s 45-yarder as time ran out in the first half.

The field goal was set up after Bills defensive end Aaron Schobel slapped the ball out of Delhomme’s hand, the fumble recovered by Chris Kelsay at the Panthers 34.

The Panthers opened the scoring on Kasay’s 25-yard field goal after a 16-play, 74-yard drive which ate up 11 minutes but stalled at the Buffalo 8.

Buffalo later responded with a 13-play, 76-yard drive ending with Lindell’s 31-yard field goal.

The Bills were without three starters: cornerback Terrence McGee (hamstring), defensive tackle Sam Adams (ankle) and tight end Mark Campbell (hamstring). Buffalo then lost starting left guard Mike Williams, who hurt his back in the second quarter.

Bills safety Lawyer Milloy also limped off the field late in the game.

The Panthers were without Pro Bowl linebacker and leading tackler Dan Morgan, who hurt his ankle last weekend.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
 Carolina
J. Delhomme J. Delhomme QB
20-27, 191 yds
1 TD
 Buffalo
E. Moulds E. Moulds WR
7 Rec, 84 yds

Team Stat Leaders

Passing Yards
Rushing Yards
Receiving Yards

Scoreboard

Preseason
  Thursday, Sep 1  
  Atlanta
Miami 20
17 Final
     
  Houston
Tampa Bay 14
38 Final
     
  NY Jets
Philadelphia 37
14 Final
     
  Washington
Baltimore 20
26 Final
OT
     
  Pittsburgh
Carolina 21
17 Final
     
  Cleveland
Chicago 16
6 Final
     
  Jacksonville
Dallas 20
27 Final
     
  Green Bay
Tennessee 21
17 Final
     
  NY Giants
New England 27
3 Final
     
  New Orleans
Oakland 6
13 Final
     
  San Francisco
San Diego 24
28 Final
      Friday, Sep 2  
  Detroit
Buffalo 21
7 Final
     
  Indianapolis
Cincinnati 0
38 Final
     
  Kansas City
St. Louis 23
27 Final
     
  Minnesota
Seattle 23
21 Final
     
  Denver
Arizona 30
21 Final