Carolina’s passing game struggled mightily in the first half against Buffalo. Quarterback Kyle Allen started the game and couldn’t get it rolling, finishing 4-of-11 for 32 yards in his three series of work.
Then rookie quarterback Will Grier stepped in and had his own share of struggles, throwing a 70-yard pick-six to Bills cornerback Kevin Johnson on his second pass attempt.
Grier, who finished the night 10-of-19 for 75 yards, did complete a couple passes to set up kicker Joey Slye for a 54-yard field goal with one second on the clock before halftime. That gave the Panthers a much-needed boost going into the locker room.
Meanwhile, the Bills quarterbacks were 16-of-19 with 196 passing yards and a touchdown in the first half as Buffalo built a 24-6 lead.
Can’t imagine head coach Ron Rivera was too pleased when he spoke to the team at halftime.
Tyler Heinicke was under center for most of the second half, and he got into a groove, completing 8-of-12 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.
Cam Newton, Christian McCaffrey, Greg Olsen, Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson did not play against the Bills, but all the other starters were out there for the first time this preseason.
Defensive linemen Gerald McCoy and Bruce Irvin made their Carolina debuts and safety Tre Boston got the start next to Eric Reid.
On the offensive side, center Matt Paradis debuted and Daryl Williams got the start at left tackle.
Also good to see rookie running back Jordan Scarlett get out there after missing the preseason opener with a back injury.