Allen, Johnson lead Bills past Newton-less Panthers 27-14
By Steve Reed
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — 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.
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.
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.