Allen, Johnson lead Bills past Newton-less Panthers 27-14

Carolina Panthers prepare to face Bills in preseason home-opener

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Josh Allen completed 9 of 11 passes for 102 yards and led two scoring drives, Kevin Johnson returned an interception 71 yards for a touchdown and the Buffalo Bills defeated the Carolina Panthers 27-14 on Friday night.

Allen, who was 5-6 as a rookie starter last season, led a 13-play, 63-yard drive that culminated in a field goal, and a touchdown drive capped by a 1-yard run by LeSean McCoy to put Buffalo (2-0) up 10-0 early before exiting the game.

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Five of Allen's completions went to Cole Beasley for 54 yards.

Matt Barkley also looked solid, completing 8 of 10 passes for 110 yards, including a 9-yard TD pass to Duke Williams.

The Panthers (1-1) struggled mightily on offense without Cam Newton, who didn't play for the second straight week.

Buffalo's defense held Carolina to 132 yards in the first half after spending two days facing the Panthers in joint practices earlier this week. The Panthers didn't help themselves with five holding penalties before halftime.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday all of his regular starters would play, but reversed course and rested several of his star players, including running back Christian McCaffrey, tight end Greg Olsen, and linebackers Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson.

PANTHERS QBS STRUGGLE

Kyle Allen got the start for the Panthers for the second straight game and was ineffective, completing 4 of 11 passes for 32 yards while playing into the second quarter.

Rookie Will Grier, the team's third-round draft pick, had a rough start, throwing his second pass into double coverage near the sideline, resulting in a pick-6 for Johnson, who made it 17-0 with 7:20 left in the second quarter.

UP NEXT

Bills: visit the Detroit Lions next Friday night.

Panthers: visit the New England Patriots on Thursday night in what could be Newton's first action of the preseason.

As part of an NFL-wide initiative, the Panthers are moving to fully mobile tickets in the 2019 season. That means fans will need to access their game tickets through their phones in order to enter the stadium, transfer tickets to others or sell them on the NFL Ticket Exchange.

Paper and PDF-printed tickets will not be used this season moving forward. This new initiative will help guard against fraud as tickets can no longer be copied and distributed to multiple people.

The mobile versions also have dynamic barcodes to keep users from taking screenshots and sending them to multiple people.

Click here for a step-by-step guide on how to log on to the Panthers app and find your tickets.

GAME DAY TRAFFIC: 

There are a few routes you are going to want to avoid as you head to the game, as well as leaving uptown.

  • South Mint Street between Morehead Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
  • Graham Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Mint Street
  • Stonewall Street between Mint Street and Church Street
  • In addition, the outside curb lane along portions of Morehead Street, Graham Street, Mint Street & Stonewall Street will close to traffic and become a pedestrian lane. These lane closures may begin as early as 5:30 p.m.

Officials said roads will close around 4:30 p.m. Friday and are expected to reopen about two hours after the game ends.

For more information, click here

Newton expected to make preseason debut against Bills

Cam Newton is expected to see his first game action since Dec. 17.

Newton, the league MVP in 2015, missed the final two games of last season and underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder in January. He and Carolina's other starters did not play in the first preseason game against the Bears.

Wide receiver Curtis Samuel was the star of training camp for the Panthers. His speed, quickness and ability to create separation are quickly turning him into Newton's favorite offensive option. Samuel will step into a starting role in his third NFL season and play alongside D.J. Moore after the Panthers let Devin Funchess leave in free agency.

Panthers rookie first-round draft pick Brian Burns had two sacks against the Bears and has looked dominant in Carolina's 3-4 defense. However, Burns tweaked his ankle Tuesday in a joint practice with the Bills. He tried to practice Wednesday, but couldn't. Burns said he plans to play against Buffalo, but it's possible coach Ron Rivera will err on the side of caution and keep Burns out.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen gets an opportunity to carry over what was an encouraging performance during two days of practices with the Panthers.

Aside from continuing to develop rapport with new receivers Cole Beasley and John Brown, Allen took time to get advice from Panthers star linebacker Luke Kuechly on how he defended against certain plays.

Running back LeSean McCoy is expected to make his preseason debut after fellow veteran Frank Gore started in Buffalo's preseason-opening win over Indianapolis. And there will also be focus placed on rookie running back Devin Singletary to see if he can build on the production -- 27 yards rushing and 21 yards receiving -- he had against the Colts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.