Carolina Panthers vs. Buffalo Bills – Preseason Game 2 preview
The Carolina Panthers make their home debut against a familiar Buffalo Bills team.
The Carolina Panthers opened preseason play with a solid victory over the Chicago Bears last week and now return home to face a familiar opponent. Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott served as the defensive coordinator under Ron Rivera in Carolina for six seasons prior to his promotion before the 2017 season.
The move led to many other connections between the two franchises, including multiple players who found a new home there after leaving the Panthers, earning Buffalo the moniker of ‘Carolina North’. Kelvin Benjamin, Derek Anderson, Joe Webb, and Mike Tolbert are all now gone but Star Lotulelei, Kurt Coleman, Dean Marlowe and the recently signed Captain Munnerlyn remain.
Leading up to the contest teams have been taking part in joint practice sessions at the Panthers training camp facilities on the campus of Wofford College. Not scheduled to meet in the regular season, only a Super Bowl would pit these two against one another again this season – a lofty goal for both organizations coming off a combined 13-19 record.
2019 PRESEASON: CAROLINA PANTHERS (1-0) vs. BUFFALO BILLS (1-0)
KICKOFF: Friday, August 16 at 7:00pm ET
TV: WCCB (Local) with a replay on NFL Network following at 11:00pm ET
ONLINE: FuboTV Watch over 67 live sports and entertainment channels with a 7-day FREE trial!
LOCATION: Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
WEATHER: 86 degrees, 64% humidity, 3mph SE wind, 10% precipitation
LAST MEETING: 28-23, PANTHERS – August 9, 2018 (Preseason Game 1)
WHAT TO WATCH:
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After getting an opportunity to face another team throughout the week, it is unlikely that quarterback Cam Newton would suit up again for a preseason game but no official announcement has been made. Regardless, the battle for backup has been fun to watch and should continue between Kyle Allen, Will Grier and Taylor Heinicke throughout this game.
Defensive end Brian Burns made a splash with two sacks during his debut last week but after tweaking his left leg, could also be a candidate to sit out Friday night. The regular season remains three weeks away and despite the need for rookie repetitions, putting your first-round pick in harms way this early could be questioned.
Even without Burns, a continued look at the defensive switch from Rivera’s traditional 4-3 fronts to a revamped version of the 3-4 he had early success with, should still be entertaining. In the backfield, running back Jordan Scarlett remains sidelined with fellow rookie Elijah Holyfield taking advantage. After an early fumble last week, he bounced back with two touchdowns.
Carolina travels to face the defending Super Bowl champion, New England Patriots, next week on Thursday (8/22) night.