On the other side of the ball, nothing went right for the Bills offense which struggled to string together drives.
Cam Newton is one of the NFL's superstar players and despite his regression during the 2015 season, coach McDermott isn't overlooking the quarterback he watched develop since 2011. He had nifty runs of 15 and 10 yards on broken plays in the first quarter alone.
After posting half a sack in Carolina's season opener, Peppers easily bested that Sunday with two sacks of Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor.
He had just four carries for -1 yards midway through the third quarter and finished with 12 carries for nine yards.More news: Canelo Alvarez-Gennady Golovkin Press Conference Live Stream & Video
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Earlier in the game, Carolina lost all-pro tight end Greg Olsen, and he was later seen on the sideline on crutches.
Bills running back Mike Tolbert spent the last five seasons with Carolina before joining Buffalo in free agency.
The Panthers entered halftime with a 6-0 lead despite out-gaining Buffalo 193-39.
Carolina (2-0) had a chance to put the game away before Gano's 20-yard field goal with 2:35 remaining.
It didn't help the Panthers offense that center Ryan Kalil didn't play, although he was dressed, after reportedly waking up on Sunday with a sore neck. Taylor now has 6,291 passing yards.