Alex Brasky | @BataviasBest
Thursday, August 9, 2018 | BataviasBest.org
The Buffalo Bills will see their first game-action of the 2018-2019 season tonight at New Era Field, as they welcome the Carolina Panthers for Game 1 of the 2018 preseason campaign. Despite a playoff berth in 2017-2018, the Bills are a team in transition this year and have plenty to work out before the regular year begins in September.
Here is a brief preview of what to look out for while you’re following along with the game tonight:
Buffalo Bills vs Carolina Panthers
New Era Field – Thursday, August 9, 2018 – 7:00 pm Kickoff
RADIO: WGR 550AM
STREAM: BuffaloBills.com/Bills Mobile App
Throughout camp it’s been a three-man rotation which has included first-team reps for AJ McCarron, Nathan Peterman, and Josh Allen. However, heading into the first preseason game the Bills have listed McCarron and Peterman as co-starters on their first unofficial depth chart, with Allen falling in line as the number three guy. I’m curious as to what this means for Allen.
Offensive Line Rotation
Just like the quarterbacks, centers Russell Bodine and Ryan Groy have been named co-starters heading into the first preseason game, while Dion Dawkins, Vlad Ducasse, John Miller, and Jordan Mills have gone unchallenged at left tackle, left guard, right guard, and right tackle respectively.
Conundrum at Wide Receiver
Behind Kelvin Benjamin, only god knows what the Bills are going to end up doing at receiver. They recently made the trade for former Browns receiver Corey Coleman, but what else lies on Buffalo’s Bills’ depth chart leaves a lot to be desired. Andre Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, and Brandon Reilly have stood out the most during camp and will be the top-three wideouts tonight (behind Benjamin) vs Carolina, but I can see this turning into an ongoing issue for the Bills this season.
Brian Daboll’s Offense
What will we see from Brian Daboll’s offense tonight?
Hopefully something more-exciting, and more-promising than the offense which former Bills’ OC Rick Dennison employed a year ago.
Daboll has one of the top-running backs in the NFL at his disposal in LeSean McCoy, but really doesn’t have much else to work with. He comes in as a the team’s new coordinator with a conundrum at wide receiver, a shuffling offensive line, and three quarterbacks who have never started extensively.
Although I’m excited to see what he has to offer as the leader of the offense, I recommend patience in terms of expectations for this unit this year.
New-Look Defensive Line
Star Lotulelei and Trent Murphy have joined a Bills’ defensive line which hopes to experience further success this season. Buffalo also added rookie DL Harrison Phillips and welcomed back veteran Kyle Williams who adds to the depth which this unit will have plenty of this year.
The Buffalo Bills starting linebacking corps seems set with Lorenzo Alexander, Tremaine Edmunds, and Matt Milano, but beyond those three there isn’t much to write home about in terms of depth at the position. This will be one of the most-important positions to watch during the preseason, to see who breaks out and asserts themselves on the Bills’ final depth chart.
Tune in @BataviasBest tonight starting at 7:00 pm for live discussion centered around the topics listed above.