After completing only two passes last week, EJ Manuel was sharp on Friday in a 20-18 preseason win over the Panthers. Manuel completed 9 of 13 passes for 96 yards and was perfect on his first seven attempts of the game.
Manuel went 4 of 4 for 53 yards on the game's opening drive, including a 32-yard toss to Chris Hogan, putting Buffalo deep into Carolina territory. The promising drive, however, came up empty. Buffalo turned the ball over on downs after Fred Jackson was stuffed on a pair of short-yardage attempts from the two-yard-line.
After a Carolina three-and-out, Manuel and the Bills moved the ball again, this time to the Panthers 19-yard-line. Manuel's first incomplete pass of the day, a strike over the middle intended for Scott Chandler, brought on the field goal unit. Dan Carpenter connected on a 39-yard field goal to put Buffalo ahead 3-0.
The Panthers took the 6-3 lead on the following drive when Derek Anderson hit rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin from 29 yards out. Jordan Gay's extra point attempt missed wide right.
Buffalo regained the lead in the second quarter on a 1-yard dive by Anthony Dixon. The touchdown capped off a short drive highlighted by Bryce Brown runs of 14 and 11 yards.
The Bills started the drive at the Panthers 28 after Manny Lawson pounced on a Matt Blanchard fumble. Carpenter's second field goal of the evening, this one from 42 yards out as time expired in the half, put Buffalo ahead 13-6.
After a scoreless third, Darrin Reaves bulled his way into the end zone, but Carolina failed to convert the ensuing two-point attempt. Marvin McNutt caught Joe Webb's pass out of bounds, keeping the Bills ahead 13-12. Buffalo extended its lead to eight points later in the fourth quarter when Jeff Tuel hit Chris Summers from a yard out.
The Panthers added a late touchdown on Brandon Williams' 31-yard haul from Joe Webb, but once again misfired on the two-point conversion. The Panthers recovered the following onside kick, but their last-minute rally came up short thanks to a Jonathan Meeks interception.
Brown led all rushers with 64 yards on 11 carries while Robert Woods finished with 31 yards on four receptions. Sammy Watkins caught his first passes as a Bill, bringing in three for 21 yards.
The Bills look to make it two wins in a row Saturday at Pittsburgh. Catch all the action on WGR 550 and Buffalo Bills Radio at 7:30 p.m.
5:42 - BUF - FG - Dan Carpenter 39-yard attempt is GOOD BUF 3 CAR 0
14:54 - CAR - TD - Kelvin Benjamin 29-yard TD from Derek Anderson (Jordan Gay extra point NO GOOD) CAR 6 BUF 3
4:04 - BUF - TD - Anthony Dixon 1-yard TD run (Dan Carpenter extra point GOOD) BUF 10 CAR 6
0:00 - BUF - FG - Dan Carpenter 42-yard attempt is GOOD BUF 13 CAR 6
11:32 - CAR - TD - Darrin Reaves 6-yard TD run (Two-point conversion attempt NO GOOD) BUF 13 CAR 12
5:46 - BUF - TD - Chris Summers 1-yard TD from Jeff Tuel (Dan Carpenter extra point GOOD) BUF 20 CAR 12
1:43 - CAR - TD - Brandon Williams 31-yard TD from Joe Webb (Two-point conversion attempt NO GOOD) BUF 20 CAR 18