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Panthers-Bills Five Observations

August 10, 2018

Preseason game one is officially in the books, and while preseason games end up being pretty meaningless by the time the regular season rolls around, it's part of our nature to point out observations and overreact to any football that is played. 

The Carolina Panthers defeated the Buffalo Bills 28-23 in a game that started with Cam Newton get into a verbal exchange with former Panther Kelvin Benjamin and ended with the Panthers overcoming a 17-7 first-half deficit to put the Benjamin week-long story to rest. 

Here I will be listing five observations, good and bad from the game last night, and will continue to do this after every game. Since this is only preseason, these observations will obviously not be as detailed then when the regular season games begin. 

1. Kevon Seymour should not be starting for the Panthers this season regularly: Seymour drew the start at left CB on Thursday as the Panthers still try to decide who will take the number two cornerback position with Ross Cockrell out for the season after suffering a broken leg in Training Camp. While the Panthers defensive starters only played in one series in the first quarter, Seymour showed that he is probably not the best option to be the team's regular starter. Seymour was torched by Bills quarterback Nathan Peterman throughout a 7-for-7, 75-yard touchdown drive that ended with Benjamin hauling in a 28-yard touchdown pass. Donte Jackson should have every opportunity to be the week one starter. 

2. D.J. Moore has all the skills to be the number one wide receiver that Carolina has lacked since Steve Smith: Moore had a very quiet night until the second half where he caught 69 of his 75 receiving yards and caught a 32-yard pass and a 16-yard catch and run that led to a CJ Anderson rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Moore looked quick, had the ability to break away from defenders and made smart decisions in finding the room to set him up for success. 

3. The backup quarterbacks looked like they can hold down the fort: Garrett Gilbert and Taylor Heinicke have been battling for the backup quarterback spot that Derek Anderson and Joe Webb have held down the past few years, but if the Panthers-Bills game showed anything meaningful, it is that  there is SOME potential if Cam Newton were to go down with any type of injury this season. Heinicke performed significantly better than Gilbert going 7/9 for 121 yards and a touchdown to Charlotte's Elijah Hood. Gilbert performed decently but had some struggles. Gilbert went 7/12 for 93 yards and a touchdown, but he missed some wide open receivers that looked pretty bad. Picture of just how open Moore was is below.

4. Jermaine Carter looks like he can be a strong contributing piece for the linebacker corps: Carter had one of the best defensive performances of the night with a sack on Bills rookie Josh Allen and an impressive chase down against him. Carter received more looks after Andre Smith had to leave the game early with a tweaked hamstring, but with Thomas Davis out the first four weeks and possible injuries racking up, Carter made an impressive case for playing time this season.

This Elijah Hood TD is for @PFF_Mike pic.twitter.com/FMJg1m3VLh

— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) August 10, 2018 " rel="nofollow">5. Elijah Hood

This Elijah Hood TD is for @PFF_Mike pic.twitter.com/FMJg1m3VLh

— Billy Marshall (@BillyM_91) August 10, 2018 " rel="nofollow"> should make the final roster if he has a few more impressive plays this preseason: Charlotte native and UNC alum, Elijah Hood continues to be a fan favorite after signing with the Panthers this offseason. Hood was drafted by the Raiders in the seventh round and spent the season on their practice squad. On Thursday, Hood caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Heinicke in the fourth quarter. While Hood is a running back, it seems he can be utilized as a receiving threat as well. If Cameron Artis-Payne struggles, Hood may be the best option to make the Panthers roster.