The Carolina Panthers are playing football tonight, at home. Preseason action is on and it is Panthers vs Bills, at Bank of America Stadium. For the first time we will see what the Panthers look like on the field. We may not see Cam Newton, who is listed as questionable, but we will see lots of guys fighting for the chance to make the Panthers roster later this year.
Time: Friday, August 8 at 7:30 PM
Venue: Bank of America Stadium
Local TV: WCCB Charlotte
Radio: WBT (99.3 FM)
Opponent: Buffalo Bills
The Bills are actually playing their second preseason game, after losing 17-13 to the New York Giants in the Hall of Fame game. The Bills first team offense features Florida State alum EJ Manuel, Clemson alums CJ Spiller and highly touted rookie Sammy Watkins. The Bills first team defense is moving to a 4-3 set and includes monster NC State defensive end Mario Williams. His old pal Manny Lawson will see action also.
The Bills defeated the Panthers last season 24-23 in Buffalo. EJ Manuel threw a last second pass that was caught by then Bill Stevie Johnson in the end zone to beat the Panthers.
Opposing Player to Watch 1a: Sammy Watkins, WR
Everybody wants to see Watkins capitalize on his great wealth of talent. He may not be out very long, but seeing how the Panthers secondary covers him will tell us something more about how good he is. It might also tell us how good the Panthers secondary is.
Opposing Player to Watch 1b: Seantrel Henderson, LT
Bills starting left tackle Cordy Glenn is unavailable, so Bills rookie Henderson stepped in to guard the blind side against the Giants. Henderson has always been thought to be a good talent, but it didn’t always show at Miami. Against Jason Pierre-Paul, Henderson held his own. Now he gets the combo of Charles Johnson-Greg Hardy or the less heralded Frank Alexander-Kony Ealy to contend with.
Panthers Underdog Player to Watch: Kenjon Barner, RB
There are not a lot of givens in preseason, but you bet that Kenjon Barner is going to see his fair share of carries in this game. Jonathan Stewart is out, and DeAngelo Williams will only play as long as the first team is out there (likely one quarter). That means that Barner will have the chance to show what he can do. Of course, the best thing he could do is NOT fumble.
Panthers Player to Watch: Byron Bell, LT
I seem to have a thing for left tackles. Bell is trying to show he can handle the blind side for Newton. He has been auditioning all of camp, so why not throw Mario Williams at him and see what happens. Bell’s play is important whether Newton plays or not. And now I can’t resist, do not ask for whom the Bell tolls, Byron. It tolls for thee.
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