Bills fall to Panthers late 25-24

The Buffalo Bills lost the game late, but their first two units looked outstanding on Friday night.

The Carolina Panthers beat the Buffalo Bills 25-24 late on Friday night. Although Buffalo lost the game late, the team’s first two units looked outstanding for the Bills in the first half. In Buffalo’s first preseason game, the team’s ground and pound philosophy worked well and all three quarterbacks played well.

Tyrod Taylor stole the show in the first half by leading the Bills to two touchdown drives in his first two series. Taylor’s first series covered 65 yards over eight plays and ended in a Karlos Williams touchdown from one yard out. His second series was a 90 yards over 13 plays and ended with a four yard touchdown run from Bryce Brown. Taylor finished the game 5-of-8 for 49 yards and 47 yards rushing on six carries.

Buffalo led the Panthers 14-10 at halftime.

In the second half, E.J. Manuel started for Buffalo. His first two series were not memorable as two poor snaps ruined his first series and a MarQueis Gray drop stalled Manuel’s second series that resulted in a 52-yard Jordan Gay field goal. On his next series, Manuel covered 64 yards over five plays and put the Bills ahead 24-17 with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Deonte Thompson. Manuel went 4-of-8 for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Besides the quarterback play, the running game looked terrific for Buffalo. The Bills rushed the ball 45 times for 206 and two touchdowns on the night. Bryce Brown led the way with 52 yards on six carries.

Defensively, Buffalo’s front seven performed well but the Panthers made a point out of picking on rookie cornerback Ronald Darby. The corner was beat for 38 yards on a pass to Ted Ginn Jr. and a 34 yard pass to Devin Funchess. Kelvin Benjamin also caught a two yard pass from Newton over Darby.

A late Joe Webb 42-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Wegher and two-point conversion gave the Panthers the lead, and eventually the win, with 54 seconds remaining in the game. 


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