The Buffalo Bills had some exciting back-and-forth practices while visiting the Carolina Panthers this week, but Friday night’s game was all Buffalo. The Bills won this one, 27-14. Buffalo jumped out to a 24-6 lead in the first half, which stretched to a 27-6 lead before the Panthers scored a touchdown and two-point conversion late in the fourth quarter.
Josh Allen quickly dialed in his accuracy tonight, aided by his best friend Cole Beasley. With John Brown sitting out this game, Beasley was the primary target. He caught five of five targets for 44 yards, and Allen finished 9-of-11 passing for 102 yards.
LeSean McCoy saw his first action of the preseason, but it was a pretty muted day. He had four carries for six yards and a touchdown, and two receptions for 11 yards.
The Bills defense didn’t face Cam Newton, and performed exactly as it should’ve. Starting QB Kyle Allen was held to four-of-eleven passing for 32 yards.
One area where the Panthers won the day was against Buffalo’s rushing defense. The hard running of Jordan Scarlett and Cameron Artis-Payne were an issue for the Bills, and the two combined for 53 yards on twelve carries.
- Offensive tackle Garrett McGhin was carted off the field with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.
- Cornerback Cam Lewis was taken out with concussion symptoms.
- Cornerback Ryan Lewis appeared to injure his hamstring (or else had really bad cramping) in the fourth quarter.
- Offensive tackle De’Ondre Wesley left the game with an injury but later returned to the field.
- Wideout John Brown did not play in the game, but he practiced all week and the decision may have been voluntary.
- Offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe didn’t play in the game. He was dealing with a stomach bug near the end of the week.
- The electric Christian Wade did it again. He caught a five-yard throw and nearly took it to the house, finishing that play with a 48-yard reception.
- Kevin Johnson took advantage of a poor decision by rookie QB Will Grier, jumping the route and taking an interception 71 yards for a touchdown.
- Tyree Jackson had an ugly night. He threw a baffling Hail Mary interception that earned him a yelling from Brian Daboll. He didn’t even look like practice-squad material out there tonight.
- On the other hand, Matt Barkley played outstanding. He looks like a perfect fit as Buffalo’s backup QB.
- T.J. Yeldon rebounded with a solid performance. He had eight touches for 36 yards. In the mirror of week one, Senorise Perry fumbled his first carry, which the Panthers recovered. It was his only carry of the night.
- Ed Oliver was mostly quiet, and occasionally double teamed, but he did swat a pass to force a punt. Unfortunately, if he hadn’t touched the pass, it looked like Jordan Poyer was en route to intercept it and bring it back for a touchdown.
- Darryl Johnson was quiet for most of the night, but killed a late Panthers drive with a strip sack.
- Wideout Duke Williams had a strong day, with three catches for 38 yards and a touchdown. He played ahead of Cam Phillips, and arguably moved ahead of Ray Ray McCloud III in the receiver battle.
- McCloud’s day wasn’t great. He caught one pass for zero yards, dropped a potential third-down conversion, and returned two punts for an average of six yards.