Bills vs. Panthers Preview (Preseason Week 1)
Who: Buffalo Bills vs. Carolina Panthers
When: Thursday, August 9th 7:00 p.m.
Where: New Era Field
Coming off their first playoff appearance since 1999, the Buffalo Bills will look to take the next step in building a Super Bowl contender. The 2018 NFL season will be a pivotal one for the Bills as they try and find their franchise quarterback and identify players who can step up and fill roles for the foreseeable future. The Bills return at least five starters on Offense (McCoy, Benjamin, Jones, Clay, and Mills) and seven starters on defense (Hughes, Williams, Alexander, Milano, White, Hyde, and Poyer) It remains to be seen if Vladimir Ducasse and Shaq Lawson return to their starting roles when the Bills open up the season against the Ravens.
This game has received a little more flare as Kelvin Benjamin, spoke about about his former quarterback, Cam Newton. It'll be interesting to see if the two find each other on the field before kickoff, but at least me for, I'm more interested in the game itself.
As with most first preseason games, I suspect the starters to play a hand full of series, that may stretch just into the second quarter. With the Bills having a quarterback competition this season, it would only make sense to give both McCarron and Peterman reps with the first team. Once they're done, I think Allen will have every opportunity to steal the show. Allen should receive a substantial amount of game action as he works with the second and third teams. Also, with teams playing extremely vanilla defense, Allen should have time to work from a clean pocket and drive the ball down the field.
Some of the other position groups I'll be taking a closer look on will include the Wide Receivers, Offensive and Defensive Line, and Cornerback. These groups have clear cut starters, but each have a logjam for rotational players.
Bills - 24 Panthers - 13