Bills preparing for Newton, McCaffrey and talented Panthers backfield

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) jumps over San Francisco 49ers defensive back K'Waun Williams (24) as strong safety Jaquiski Tartt (29) approaches the play during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Bills defense will have their hands full with the Panthers on Sunday.

Cam Newton has plenty of playmakers at his disposal, including wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, tight end Greg Olsen and first round draft pick Christian McCaffrey.

The rookie touched the ball 18 times for 85 yards in his NFL debut against the 49ers, and his teammate and linebacker Luke Kuechly compared McCaffrey to Bills Pro-Bowl running back LeSean McCoy.

“I try not to compare two players. LeSean is such a talented football player, very elusive, his success and his resume speak for itself. I think that’s a known commodity,” Head Coach Sean McDermott said.

“McCaffrey is a very decorated player in his own right. We’ve got a lot of respect for him, we know what he does offensively and on special teams, so it’s important that we know our stuff so we can put our best foot forward.”

“He gets involved in the screen game, in the run game — and not just the screen game but they’ll get the ball to him on routes,” defensive tackle Kyle Williams added Friday after practice.  “He’s kind of a switch blade for them, he can kind of do it all. A lot of speed, very shifty and a big part of their game plan.”

Williams and the Bills defense looked great in their Week 1 win over the Jets, limiting New York to 214 total yards, 38 rushing yards and 12 points.

They’ll need to repeat that performance again on Sunday.

“They’re a hard group to stop,” McDermott said of Carolina offense.  “We’ve got to be aware of situational football, and being aware all of the time of how we line up and make sure we communicate.”

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