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Buffalo Bills Look for Continued Progress Against Carolina Panthers

August 8th, 2014 at 12:08 PM
By Anthony Custode Jr

The Buffalo Bills will play their second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers tonight and they hope that their offense can get into a better rhythm than they were in against the New York Giants in the Hall of Fame game.

The Bills had a decent showing against the Giants, considering it was their first preseason game, but the team will hope to build on that as they prepare for the upcoming season that holds great expectations.

What to watch for:

  • EJ Manuel will need to show more progress. He had a decent outing against the Giants, but still had too many balls knocked down at the line of scrimmage, which is an indication that he is still locking down on one receiver. This year is a big one for Manuel, and all eyes will be focused on him, dissecting his every move.
  • Sammy Watkins would like to get his first catch under his belt, and his first hit out of the way. It's not uncommon for players to want contact early, so they're used to getting hit. Watkins had no catches against the Giants and was targeted twice by Manuel. Fans expect big things from the rookie wide receiver.
  • Buffalo's first-team defense looked good against New York. Now it's time to see if they can duplicate that effort. The Bills were able to stop the run with their first unit and even forced a turnover. Tonight's contest will show if they can be consistent with a little more playing time.
  • Jeff Tuel has the upper hand on Thad Lewis in the duel for the No. 2 quarterback position and it'll be interesting how both perform tonight. Tuel accounted for Buffalo's only touchdown against the Giants with a connection with Robert Woods, while Lewis looked lost running the offense.
  • Speaking of Robert Woods, it will be interesting to see if he will play with the first team or the second team offense tonight. Woods worked with the second team against the Giants and looked very good.

The Bills will likely give their starters a little more work than they received Sunday, as the preparation for the season continues. Buffalo would like to see production, while staying healthy, which was a huge plus coming out of the Hall of Fame game. Also, Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller probably shouldn't take too many carries. Doug Marrone knows what he has in them, and risking injury to either doesn't make sense, especially when the team has plenty of depth behind them that needs to be evaluated. 

 

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