After beating the Indianapolis Colts 24-16 in their first preseason game, the Bills took the field in Charlotte against the Carolina Panthers. Several of Buffalo’s players and personnel share ties with the Carolina coaching staff, making this a fun exhibition game. With only a handful of opportunities left for players to make a name for themselves before the coaching staff is forced to cut 37 players.
The Bills dominated on Friday in a 27-14 victory that saw all three phases excel. The Bills showed off their depth and took advantage of starters like Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, Christian McCafferey sitting out.
Winner, Duke Williams, WR:
The Bills have a competitive wide receiver room but only two wideouts with larger frames, Williams and rookie David Sills. Last week, Willaims and Sills combined for zero receptions on three targets. Both ruined their stock in the first preseason game but Williams may have gained some serious traction against the Panthers. Williams had three catches on four targets for 38 yards and an acrobatic touchdown. Williams is now vying for a spot on the roster again and put himself ahead of Sills who failed to bring in his only target.
Loser, Tyree Jackson, QB:
After a week of less than ideal play, Jackson followed up with a game of poor decision making. Jackson went 4-10 for 68 yards and an interception and also added 27 yards on eight carries. Head coach Sean McDermott has always preferred to keep three quarterbacks on the roster but the Bills may be better off using that roster spot for something else and stowing Jackson away on the practice squad.
Winner, Levi Wallace, CB:
Heading into the offseason, many questioned whether Wallace would lose his starting job or not. After signing EJ Gaines and Kevin Johnson, Wallace’s starting job security seemed in jeopardy. Now, through two preseason games, Gaines has been released on an injury settlement and Wallace seems way ahead of Johnson for the starting gig. Wallace’s ability to maintain the starting job makes him a winner.
Loser, Kyle Peko, DT:
Not only has Peko failed to move up on the depth chart but he also incurred a careless roughing the passer penalty. Peko actually played pretty well, coming together with defensive end Eddie Yarbrough for a sack but the penalty will stick out more to McDermott when the staff evaluates the roster.
Winner, TJ Yeldon, RB:
Yeldon ran like a man who screwed up the week before and that is exactly what Yeldon did. After fumbling in last weeks contest, Yeldon pushed for 26 yards on seven carries. Yeldon looked much better than last week and he is now back on pace to be the fourth running back on the roster.
Loser, Jarron Jones, OT:
Jones seemed to be a solid depth signing for a banged up offensive line but he incurred a plethora of penalties with the third-string offense. Penalties from the offensive line is exactly what McDermott is trying to stray away from, which does not bode well for Jones.
With only two preseason games left before the regular season begins and there are still a ton of players who need to make a name for themselves.