Preseason Game No. 2 is Friday night
Charlotte, North Carolina (WGR550)– After two days of practicing against one another in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Buffalo Bills and Carolina Panthers will finish the week playing against each other in the second preseason game of 2019 for both teams.
Here are four things worth be watching for:
1. Shady’s turn
Last week in the preseason opener against the Colts, Frank Gore started at running back with LeSean McCoy sitting out. The two will flip roles this week and McCoy will be the first back in. He doesn’t typically play much in the preseason so it will be interesting to see how many times he carries the ball or gets targeted in the passing game out of the backfield. With third round pick Devin Singletary having a strong showing last week, there’s still some things to be decided as far as the running back depth chart is concerned. The team has remained steadfast that McCoy is their starting running back this season, but he will certainly want to maximize his touches to prove he’s still capable and worthy of being the top man.
2. Big Run D
The Bills first-team defense was terrific last week against the Colts starting offense’s running game, allowing only 1.6 yards per carry on 10 rushing attempts. But facing the Panthers will be a better and more difficult challenge. Carolina finished fourth in the NFL running the football last year, led by Christian McCaffrey’s 1,098 yards on the ground. We’ll see if they can continue their stout play against the run this week. If they can, it’s another great sign for where the defense may be headed.
3. WR battle continues
The wide receiver depth chart is far from settled. In the preseason opener Robert Foster, Cam Phillips, Ray-Ray McCloud, and Isaiah McKenzie were the only wideouts to play at least 30-percent of the teams’ snaps. That may have been because the coaching staff wanted to see as much from all of them on film as they can before making certain decisions. Duke Williams, David Sills, Victor Bolden, and Nick Easley are all still fighting for spots, as well. With each game that goes by there are less and less opportunities for all of them to make an impression. A big game from one maybe enough to vault them ahead of what appears to be a crowded pack of players vying for the last receiver spot or two.
4. The last corner
Since EJ Gaines was placed on injured reserve, there’s been a good battle brewing for his spot as one of the three backup cornerbacks. After starters Tre’Davious white, Levi Wallace, and Taron Johnson, Kevin Johnson looks pretty safe on the roster, along with Siran Neal, who can be considered a cornerback when he plays the big nickel position. There might be only one spot left and Cam Lewis, Lafayette Pitts, Denzel Rice, Ryan Lewis, and Captain Munnerlyn are all in the thick of the race.
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