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QBs make plays but Panthers edge Bills

080918-recap

Location: New Era Field

Preseason Records: Buffalo (0-1), Carolina (1-0)

In a nutshell:

The Bills and Panthers kicked off their 2018 campaigns with a contest in Orchard Park, New York. The two teams met in Carolina for each team’s second game of the 2017 regular season, a game which saw the Panthers emerge victorious by a score of nine to three.

Although the Bills did not come out on top in the two team’s last matchup, Buffalo went on to reach the playoffs for the first time in 17 seasons.

The Panthers also appeared in the playoffs in 2017, finishing with an 11-5 record and eventually falling to the Saints in the Wild Card round of the playoffs by a score of 31-26.

Sean McDermott is entering his second season as the head coach of the Bills, while Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is entering his eighth season with Carolina.

Cam Newton got the start for Carolina to kick off his eighth season with the Panthers, and Nathan Peterman started for the Bills in what is his second NFL season.

How it went down:

-Nathan Peterman completed four passes to Kelvin Benjamin on the opening offensive drive for the Bills, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to put the Bills up 7 to 0. Peterman was 7/7 on the drive.

-Christian McCaffrey capped off a 9-play 75-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run with 2:16 remaining in the first quarter, tying the game at 7.

-On the Bills second drive on offense, a Nathan Peterman pass went through the hands of Chris Ivory and was intercepted by Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson.

-With 5:41 left in the first half, Stephen Hauschka converted a 29-yard field goal attempt to put the Bills up 10 to 7.

-An A.J. McCarron pass to Brandon Reilly for 59 yards just before the two-minute warning put the Bills deep into Carolina territory, and Buffalo capped the drive with a 7-yard touchdown run by Marcus Murphy; making the score 17 to 7 in favor of Buffalo.

-Garrett Gilbert dropped in a 26-yard touchdown pass to Mose Frazier on the Panthers’ first drive of the second half to cut the Buffalo lead to 3.

-C.J. Anderson took in a touchdown from 4 yards out to cap off a 13 play, 89-yard touchdown drive for Carolina. Anderson’s touchdown run put Carolina on top, 21 to 17.

-Taylor Heinicke linked up with RB Elijah Hood for a 21-yard touchdown pass with 5:05 remaining in the game to put Carolina up 28 to 17.

-Josh Allen capped off a nice two-minute drill with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Ray-Ray McCloud; Allen sacked on the two point conversion attempt. After the failed conversion attempt, Carolina held a 28 to 25 lead.

Subplots:

-Former Canisius College basketball player Chris Manhertz, who is now a tight end with the Panthers, was not active as he is recovering from a broken foot.

-WR Cam Phillips, WR Zay Jones, WR Corey Coleman, LB Corey Thompson, and DE Trent Murphy did not play due to injury situations.

-DT Kyle Williams and RB LeSean McCoy were given the night off by the Bills coaching staff.

-Ryan Groy got the start at center after rotating with Russell Bodine at training camp.

-Josh Allen saw his first live game action with the Bills, going 9 for 19 on passing attempts for 116 yards and one touchdown, and rushing for 29 yards on three carries.

-DT John Hughes left the game with 8:33 left in the fourth quarter with an undisclosed injury.

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