The Carolina Panthers took down the Buffalo Bills 28-23 on Thursday night. The Kelvin Benjamin storylines gave this game some more excitement heading into the game. There’s a lot of positives to take away from last nights game.

Offense

Quarterback Cam Newton missed a couple throws but he had a typical Cam performance during his two drives on the field. He completed six of his nine passes for 84 yards; he also had a three-yard rush attempt.

Newton’s biggest pass play was a 28-yard completion to wide receiver Jarius Wright. This play set up a two-yard touchdown run by running back Christian McCaffrey. The first-team offense was in a pretty good rhythm while on the field.

Backup quarterback Garrett Gilbert got off to a shaky start when he first took over. He missed some throws and the Panthers struggle to move the ball down the field. Because of this and some defensive issues to end the half, the Bills lead 17-7 at the break.

They kept Gilbert out there to start the second half and he was able to get into a rhythm. On the Panthers second drive of the half, he took them down the field and into the end zone. He capped it off with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Mose Frazier.

Wide receiver DJ Moore out of Maryland was the Panthers first-round pick and he did not disappoint in his preseason debut. He made a few big plays that showed exactly why the Panthers took him so high in the in May.

Moore led the team in receiving with four receptions for 75 yards. He spent some time playing with the backups but he’ll be playing more and more with the starters as the preseason goes on.

Wide receiver Curtis Samuel out of Ohio State also had an exciting game. He showed off his quickness on many occasions. Samuel finished the game with four receptions for 43 yards. He’s a guy who is going to be a nice fit with quarterback Cam Newton this season.

The offense, overall, had a solid game. They scored touchdowns instead of field goals which is important to see in the preseason. Exciting plays in the passing game from the Panther silenced the Bills faithful. With the talent on the roster, it is going to be interesting to see how these depth chart battles shake out.

Defense

The defense had a solid night on Thursday as well. They were able to get some pressure on the quarterback and did a good job of swarming the ball to make tackles. The secondary did struggle at times but they made some plays as well.

The Bills threw for 338 yards and ran for 92. That’s a lot of yards but it doesn’t always tell the whole story. The Panthers had two quarterback sacks as well as a lot of pass deflections and an interception by Shaq Thompson. Ultimately, bad stretches at the end of both halves make it seem worse than it was.

Kevon Seymour was a guy who struggled early. He got beat by receivers including by Kelvin Benjamin’s touchdown catch. He got going later on in the game and seemed to see the field more than most of the other guys. At the end of the day, Seymour led the team with his two pass deflections.

The defense struggled at times with rookie Josh Allen. Allen was able to find running lanes late in the game, finding just enough room on multiple occasions to sneak out for a nice run.

The defense will improve at the end of half situations as they get more games under their belt. Overall this was a very good performance on both sides of the ball. You don’t want to take to much away from the first preseason game but it’s gonna be a fun year for the Carolina Panthers.

 

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