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First-quarter analysis: Mario Williams comes to play

By Jay Skurski

The Buffalo Bills got exactly what they paid for from Mario Williams in the first quarter. Williams sacked Carolina quarterback Cam Newton twice, the second of which came on third down to end a Panthers drive. Williams easily got by Carolina right tackle Byron Bell on the play.

Dareus down: Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus left the game because of injury. Trainers were looking at Dareus’ right knee on the sideline, but he was able to return to the game shortly before the end of the quarter.

Missed opportunities: Rookie quarterback EJ Manuel had an up-and-down quarter. He opened the Bills’ first drive with a nice play-action pass to fullback Frank Summers for a 34-yard gain, but missed throws to wide receiver Stevie Johnson and tight end, both of whom were open deep in Carolina territory.

No good: Bills kicker Dan Carpenter was cut three times during training camp – by Miami, Arizona and the New York Jets. He showed why when he missed a 42-yard field goal wide to the right, spoiling a good opening drive by the Bills.

Nice read: Linebacker Kiko Alonso stopped Carolina’s first drive with an interception of Cam Newton. The rookie from Oregon showed great recognition on the play, stepping right in front of the throw. It looked to be great film study of the route.


Dan Carpenter | EJ Manuel | Frank Summers | Kiko Alonso | Marcell Dareus | Mario Williams
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |