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

Week 4
  Sunday, Oct 2  
  Buffalo
New Orleans 7
19 Final
     
  Detroit
Tampa Bay 13
17 Final
     
  Indianapolis
Tennessee 31
10 Final
     
  San Diego
New England 41
17 Final
     
  Denver
Jacksonville 20
7 Final
     
  Houston
Cincinnati 10
16 Final
     
  Seattle
Washington 17
20 Final
OT
     
  St. Louis
NY Giants 24
44 Final
     
  NY Jets
Baltimore 3
13 Final
     
  Philadelphia
Kansas City 37
31 Final
     
  Dallas
Oakland 13
19 Final
     
  Minnesota
Atlanta 10
30 Final
     
  San Francisco
Arizona 14
31 Final
      Monday, Oct 3  
  Green Bay
Carolina 29
32 Final