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Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers: Rookie review

Rookie linemen outshone, another bad day for Brown

The Buffalo Bills got back on track in defeating a mediocre Carolina Panthers team at home 31-14. The defense performed well throughout the contest, considering half of the Panthers’ points came as a result of being on a short field. Meanwhile, the offense sputtered for the first quarter but found their footing as the game went along—including some solid runs by Devin Singletary. More about how each rookie performed below.

DE Gregory Rousseau

The rookie has seen a dip in playing time the last few weeks, which makes sense considering his limited impact during that span. Against Carolina, a team lacking a strong offensive line, his typical approach of pushing his rush upfield and then doubling back and using his length didn’t work well. The rookie was largely outshine by Efe Obada on the edge. Against the run, Cam Newton’s designed runs and scrambles didn’t really effect his side, as they were more designed to move straight ahead.

DE Carlos Basham Jr.

Seeing the field again after being inactive, Basham had a more productive day lined up inside compared to Rousseau on the edge. That mostly came as a result of former Bills guard John Miller, who had a difficult time defending Basham’s agility and speed along the interior. However, while he flashed a few times, he mostly failed to finish plays and instead a couple of his four tackles were more from sheer hustle down the field.

OT Spencer Brown

It was another day to forget for Brown, who it must be said was playing out of position at left tackle. While he certainly has the ability to play left tackle, he’s still a small-school rookie who has only been playing on the right side. Brown was beaten several times to the outside by rushers Brian Burns and fellow rookie Yetur-Gross Matos. A personal foul from him coming in late on a play and attempting to block resulted in a few plays spent on the bench. His best play though came from an athletic fumble recovery after Josh Allen was sacked in the first quarter.

OT Tommy Doyle

Coming in for at least a few plays during the game, Doyle didn’t really distinguish himself much, despite him purposefully falling on a defender at one point making it look like he pancaked him.

WR Marquez Stevenson

Stevenson again flashed some return chops this game, and what manages to stand out every time is how physical he is when tacklers get to him. He gains a couple extra yards every time he receives contact. He did bobble a pooch kick though, which if he had fielded quickly, would have resulted in a longer kickoff return.

S Damar Hamlin

The rookie safety was active for the game, and saw special teams duty and even some defensive snaps in mop up duty, although not much came his way.

CB Rachad Wildgoose

On November 16, the New York Jets signed Wildgoose to their 53-man roster off of the Bills’ practice squad.

OG Jack Anderson

On September 21, the Philadelphia Eagles signed Anderson to their 53-man roster and off of the Bills’ practice squad.