Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
When: Friday, August 16, 7:00 PM. ET.
Week 2 of the NFL preseason features a matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers, who are both coming off wins in their first preseason game of the year.
Bills Trying To Prove Themselves On The Road
The Bills looked impressive in their preseason win over the Indianapolis Colts, a team that is expected to make the playoffs again this season. They will be trying to pick up their second consecutive preseason win and their first road win when they play the Panthers on Friday.
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 9, 2019
Offensively, Buffalo looked good against the Colts. Josh Allen didn’t look as sharp as the team would have hoped but he played well in limited action, completing six of his 11 attempts for 66 yards. Matt Barkley looked good as well, completing nine of 14 passes for 126 yards and one touchdown.
The addition of wide receiver Cole Beasley should help Allen as a possession receiver that can move the chains. He caught four passes in the joint practice with Carolina on Wednesday.
“It makes all the difference especially on option routes when we’re both reading the defense at the same time,” said Beasley. “A lot of the time you have to hold it just to make sure you know what a guy is doing, but now we’re starting to get on the same page where he sees it just like I see it and he’s anticipating. I got out of one break and the ball got on me so fast and I almost didn’t expect it that early. I told him right after that play, ‘Dude if you get me the ball that fast I’m going to get a lot for you after.’ That makes it so much easier for me and will make us so much better as an offense.”
Buffalo was also able to run the ball and finished with 163 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. LeSean McCoy did not see any action in the first game and will likely get a few snaps in this game. Rookie running back Christian Wade took advantage of his limited time on the field and ran for 65 yards and one touchdown with his only carry of the game.
The Bills will be hoping for another solid offensive performance when they play on Friday. However, they will need to do a better job defensively, especially in the second half, if they want to get the win.
Panthers Looking For More Consistency In Running Game
The Panthers have one of the best running backs in the league in Christian McCaffrey, but they don’t have a lot of depth at the position, with quarterback Cam Newton finishing second in rushing last season. They are hoping they will have more depth at the position this season with Elijah Holyfield and Reggie Bonnafon competing for the backup spot.
Grier ➡️ Holyfield for the TD 🔥 pic.twitter.com/MTWNYkM6F0
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 9, 2019
The two running backs combined for 49 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries in their first game and should get more carries this week. The backup quarterback competition is also a key one to keep an eye on this preseason with rookie Will Grier and Kyle Allen competing for the spot.
Grier finished the first game completing nine of his 16 attempts for 77 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Allen finished the game seven of 11 for 76 yards. With Newton still recovering from shoulder surgery, expect the two quarterbacks to see a lot of action on Friday.
Carolina’s defense played well against the Chicago Bears, holding the team to 170 passing yards and 82 rushing yards. They also sacked the quarterback five times. With Allen expected to play at least a quarter this week, the defense will get to play against Buffalo’s first team for a while and will need to prevent the second-year quarterback from making plays with his feet.
Ron Rivera is one of those coaches who values practice as much as the preseason games. Most coaches are starting to feel the same way, which is why they offer at least one joint practice with another team during training camp. He didn’t play his starters in the opener against the Bears. Cam Newton is expected to play and will see his first action on Friday, coming off arthroscopic shoulder surgery.
”I’m not sure if playing the games is as important as it used to be, but things like this are invaluable,” Rivera said Wednesday. ‘If you can get two teams that come in focused on working and developing you can help each other out a lot.”
- 15-29 ATS in the preseason.
- 4-1 ATS off a SU dog win