Allen, Johnson lead Bills past Newton-less Panthers 27-14

Fri Aug 16 10:22pm ET
By STEVE REED
AP Sports Writer

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott watches play against the Carolina Panthers during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton walks the sidelines during the first half an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Buffalo Bills defensive back Levi Wallace (39) tackles Carolina Panthers wide receiver Curtis Samuel (10) during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton watches a replay with Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera on the sidelines during the first half an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) celebrates his touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera speaks with head linesman Jim Howey (37) during the first half an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) runs out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) runs out of the pocket against the Carolina Panthers during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney (89) runs against the Carolina Panthers during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen (7) runs out of the pocket against the Buffalo Bills during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) is tackled by Carolina Panthers cornerback Corn Elder (29) during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) works against the Carolina Panthers during the first half an NFL preseason football game, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton poses with children before the first half an NFL preseason football game against the Buffalo Bills, Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, in Charlotte. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Josh Allen completed 9 of 11 passes for 102 yards and led two scoring drives, Kevin Johnson returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown and the Buffalo Bills defeated the Carolina Panthers 27-14 on Friday night.

Allen, who was 5-6 as a rookie starter last season, led a 13-play, 63-yard drive that culminated in a field goal, and a touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard run by LeSean McCoy to put Buffalo (2-0) up 10-0 early before exiting the game.

Five of Allen's completions went to Cole Beasley for 54 yards.

Matt Barkley also looked solid, completing 8 of 10 passes for 110 yards, including a 9-yard TD pass to Duke Williams.

The Panthers (1-1) struggled mightily on offense without Cam Newton, who didn't play for the second straight week.

Buffalo's defense held Carolina to 132 yards in the first half after spending two days facing the Panthers in joint practices earlier this week. The Panthers didn't help themselves with five holding penalties before halftime.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday all of his regular starters would play, but reversed course and rested several of his star players, including running back Christian McCaffrey, tight end Greg Olsen, and linebackers Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson.

PANTHERS QBS STRUGGLE

Kyle Allen got the start for the Panthers for the second straight game and was ineffective, completing 4 of 11 passes for 32 yards while playing into the second quarter.

Rookie Will Grier, the team's third-round draft pick, had a rough start, throwing his second pass into double coverage near the sideline, resulting in a pick-6 for Johnson, who made it 17-0 with 7:20 left in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Bills: visit the Detroit Lions next Friday night.

Panthers: visit the New England Patriots on Thursday night in what could be Newton's first action of the preseason.

Player Notes
Tee Higgins Aug 5 8:20pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft and has a high ceiling without a doubt, especially since he will be catching passes from No. 1 overall selection Joe Burrow. Both rookies have built a rapport already as the duo conducted workouts together during the offseason. Higgins finished his final season at Clemson with 59 catches and 13 touchdowns off of 1,167 yards. While he is a risky selection in redraft leagues this season due to his potential limited playing time, he is surely worth a first-round pick in dynasty formats as he will likely rack up plenty of receptions from Burrow for years to come.

From RotoBaller

Tyler Boyd Aug 5 8:10pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd has begun catching passes from rookie signal-caller Joe Burrow as the team kicks off training camp. The 25-year-old has plenty of hype heading into the 2020 season after racking up over 1,000 yards in his previous two seasons. With A.J. Green seemingly healthy along with the addition of Clemson wideout Tee Higgins, Boyd could see things open up more on the offensive end, while also remaining the team's top pass-catcher.

From RotoBaller

A.J. Green Aug 5 8:00pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green went through his first walkthrough under second-year head coach Zac Taylor on Tuesday. The veteran, who recently signed a one-year tender a few weeks ago, missed all of 2019 after injuring his ankle during training camp. While consistent ailments have been the theme for the 32-year-old over the past seasons, there is no denying his ability when healthy. He is no longer considered an elite wideout, however, he is worth a mid-round pick for those looking for an option with an enormous upside.

From RotoBaller

Joe Mixon Aug 5 7:40pm ET

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still without a new deal as the team heads toward the 2020 season. However, according to director of player personnel, Duke Tobin, the organization views the 24-year-old as a "cornerstone piece of the franchise." Mixon is looking for a contract that would pay him north of $8 million per year, a significant increase from the $1.2 million that he is expected to earn in the final year of his rookie deal. The former Sooner is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and is projected by many to be a fantasy breakout by year's end.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Elliott Aug 5 7:10pm ET

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was quick to respond to Ed Werder's Twitter post regarding a potentially reduced role for the former rushing champ, quipping "we all gonna eat." Though Elliott is a shoo-in, first-round pick in fantasy drafts for the 2020 campaign, many still wonder how he will co-exist on an offense that has plenty of mouths to feed, notably Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, and 17th overall pick, CeeDee Lamb. Elliott finished 2019 as a top-five back in the majority of formats. Under new head coach Mike McCarthy, who has overseen some productive runners throughout his career, the 25-year-old could be in store for another productive year.

From RotoBaller

Michael Thomas Aug 5 6:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas broke the single-season receptions record last year by racking up 149 catches, surpassing Marvin Harrison's 2002 mark of 143. While that accomplishment would be good enough for most throughout the league, the 27-year-old is aiming to exceed his 2019 total heading into the 2020 campaign. Thomas convincingly dominated the fantasy picture last season, and in addition to his catch total, he also accumulated over 1,700 yards while finishing fifth in yards after the catch. He is expected to finish as the top fantasy wideout this season, and will likely get snagged off the draft board within the top three picks, especially in PPR formats.

From RotoBaller

Travis Benjamin Aug 5 5:43pm ET

Updating a previous story, San Francisco 49ers WR Travis Benjamin was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.

From TheHuddle

Albert Wilson Aug 5 5:33pm ET

Updating a previous story, Miami Dolphins WR Albert Wilson was officially placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.

From TheHuddle

Davon Godchaux Aug 5 4:43pm ET

Miami Dolphins DT Davon Godchaux was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5.

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Tyeler Davison Aug 5 4:43pm ET

Atlanta Falcons DT Tyeler Davison was activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aug. 5. LB Ahmad Thomas was released.

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Austin Hooper Aug 5 4:33pm ET

Cleveland Browns TE Austin Hooper lived part of the summer with QB Baker Mayfield while the two worked out together.

Fantasy Spin: It certainly could help Hooper to at least be somewhat familiar with his new QB despite all the lost reps from canceled offseason programs following his signing as a free agent. Hooper is expected to be the No. 1 tight end over David Njoku and should be drafted as a top-tier option at his thin position.

From TheHuddle

Jayon Brown Aug 5 4:33pm ET

Tennessee Titans LB Jayon Brown (undisclosed) passed his physical Wednesday, Aug. 5, and was activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

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Stefon Diggs Aug 5 4:13pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Stefon Diggs restructured his contract Tuesday, Aug. 4, according to a source. He'll receive an extra $3.3 million in 2020, an extra $7.7 million in guaranteed money but a decrease of $300,000 cash in 2021 and a drop from $25.55 million to $22.67 million in 2022-23 cash.

From TheHuddle

LeSean McCoy Aug 5 3:53pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB LeSean McCoy probably will have a role in the passing game this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Fantasy Spin: It appears like McCoy may be in line for the third down back job, but fantasy players should keep an eye on the situation. McCoy probably would see a handful of touches each games if he makes the roster but may only be a depth option in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Kentrell Brice Aug 5 3:53pm ET

Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) signed with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, Aug. 5. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

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Avery Williamson Aug 5 3:23pm ET

New York Jets LB Avery Williamson (knee) said he expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.

From TheHuddle

Jeremy Hill Aug 5 3:13pm ET

Las Vegas Raiders RB Jeremy Hill was released Wednesday, Aug. 5.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Aug 5 3:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II was called "the main guy" in the running back room by his coach Bruce Arians. Arians said he is confident in Jones II and that the other guys are fighting for roles. The other guys include third-round draft pick Ke'Shawn Vaughn, who will lose valuable practice time after he hit the COVID-19 list, and veteran running back LeSean McCoy, who won't challenge for a lead back role at this point in his career. Jones II looks the part after an offseason spent bulking up and catching hundreds of passes to address a weakness in his game. The 23-year-old has RB2 upside in the 7th round but it's likely that Vaughn and McCoy cut into his ceiling in 2020, despite what Arians said.

From RotoBaller

Kentrell Brice Aug 5 3:03pm ET

Free-agent S Kentrell Brice (Bears) is expected to sign with the Arizona Cardinals as long as he passes a physical and tests negative for COVID-19, according to a source.

From TheHuddle

Ronald Jones II Aug 5 2:13pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones will be the main ball carrier for the Buccaneers this season, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Fantasy Spin: Jones rushed for 724 yards and six touchdowns last season and should improve those stats with more playing time and touches. He will be a part of one of the better offenses in the NFL and can be considered a No. 2 running back in fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle