CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WIVB) – EJ Manuel and the rest of the starters lasted three series, as the Bills picked up their first win of the preseason Friday night, topping Carolina 20-18.
Manuel looked far more comfortable than he did in Sunday’s preseason opener, completing 9-of-13 passes for 96 yards. First-round pick Sammy Watkins had three catches for 21 yards, but the highlights included a 32-yard connection to Chris Hogan in the first quarter, and a 28-yard strike to Mike Williams in the second quarter. Williams leaped to make the grab, with a defender on his back.
Despite positive signs from the starting offense, that unit only managed to put three points on the board in their three series. Buffalo’s opening drive ended when the Panthers stuffed Fred Jackson near the goal-line.
Anthony Dixon found the end zone with the backup unit, and Jeff Tuel hit Chris Summers for a short TD pass in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers nearly pulled off a comeback, scoring late in the game and then recovering an onside kick. Second-year safety Jonathan Meeks sealed the win, however, with a late interception.
The Bills even their preseason record at 1-1, with the Steelers on tap next Saturday. The two teams will practice together this Wednesday and Thursday in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.