The Buffalo Bills take on the Carolina Panthers Friday, August the 8th at 7:30pm. This will be the first look we get at Cam Newton and the new WR corps but, not for long. Don’t be surprised if the starting offense and defense are pulled after the first few drives of the game. This is the first edition of “Lurking in the Shadows” and each week, throughout the season, I will be picking players that I predict will be key to a Panther victory for the upcoming Sunday.
So let’s get started.
If you have been keeping up with Catcrave.com, like you should be…., I mentioned a few weeks back about how Bene will make Panther fans forget about Captain Munnerlyn. Bene has done nothing but impress in training camp with his great ball-hawking skills and smart play. Bene is starting to gain the upper hand on veteran Charles Godfrey for the starting nickleback position, and that momentum doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.
Bene should get a good bit of playing time while the starting CB’s take it easy for the first preseason game. Look for Bene to take advantage of Buffalo’s second-string QB Thad Lewis before taking a seat, and letting the roster bubble players play for a spot on the 53-man roster.
King has been a pleasant surprise thus far in training camp and is listed as fourth on the depth chart above Kealoha Pilares. King has been praised by the coaching staff for being sure-handed and catching everything thrown to him. Though the WR corps was completely overhauled in the offseason, this is no easy team to make as a WR. With the additions of Cotchery, Avant, and Benjamin the first three spots are locked down, with only three remaining. There are a lot of young guys working to make the transition and King is doing his part to make the final roster.
Look for Derek Anderson to lean heavily on King’s sure hands, and for him to have a great game. The Panthers are fortunate to have such a high-caliber back up QB that can throw the ball consistently, leading to Kings break out game.
Klein has solidified his place as a backup linebacker with the Panthers. During his rookie year in 2013, Klein saw more and more playing time as the season went on. He performed his best last year against the 49ers when he had to step into a leading role. The Panthers won by a slim margin. Klein is now in a heated battle with Chase Blackburn for the third spot on the depth chart, and don’t be surprised if the veteran can’t keep the lead.
With Kuechly and Davis assumed to play a limited role in Friday’s game, Klein will be on the field with Blackburn for much of the game. We will get a good glimpse into the linebacker battle between Klein and Blackburn, and I expect the youngster to start pulling away Friday.
Thanks for tuning into the new “Lurking in the Shadows” segment for the season from CatCrave.com. Let me know your selection for the game in the comments section below, and thanks for following and sharing the link.