Halftime Hits: Panthers at Bills

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Notes from the first half of action between Carolina and Buffalo in the preseason opener.

  • Quarterback Cam Newton completed 5-of-10 passes for 83 yards and one touchdown. After tough start, Newton came alive during the offense's third series, completing a beautiful deep pass down the right sideline to wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., for 38 yards. Newton connected with tight end Greg Olsen to move the chains on third-and-6, setting up first-and-goal from the 2. Newton then zipped a pass to Benjamin for the 2-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7 in the second quarter.
  • Benjamin got the offense going. The second-year wideout drew a pass interference penalty which resulted in a 25-yard gain. He made a tough catch over the middle for 15 yards on the next play, but was penalized for taunting. Benjamin made up for the mistake by getting the Panthers on the board moments later.
  • Rookie wide receiver Devin Funchess made a sliding 19-yard catch in the final moments of the first half. That catch, plus a 5-yard grab by tight end Ed Dickson allowed Carolina to set up a 47-yard field goal in the final seconds. Kicker Graham Gano drilled it to cut the Bills' lead to 14-10.
  • Running back Jonathan Stewart did not play. Fozzy Whittaker started the game and rushed five times for three yards.
  • Star linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis played just the first series (seven plays) before giving way to Adarius Glanton and Jason Trusnik. The starting secondary made way for backups after two series.
  • Penalties bit the Panthers defense. Glanton was flagged for a late hit on Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor after a 20-yard rush, which placed the ball on the Carolina 12-yard line. Klein was then penalized for a horse collar tackle on Taylor, giving Buffalo first-and-goal at the 3. Rookie running back Karlos Williams leaped into the end zone to open the scoring two plays later.

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