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Third-quarter analysis: Second round looking strong

By Jay Skurski

It’s early, but it’s looking like the Buffalo Bills may have hit a pair of home runs in the second round of this year’s draft with linebacker Kiko Alonso and wide receiver Robert Woods.

Woods stepped up after halftime for the Bills, making a pair of catches that covered 43 yards on the team’s opening drive of the third quarter, helping to set up a field goal. Later in the quarter, Woods made a terrific catch to complete a two-point conversion following Fred Jackson’s touchdown. That tied the game at 14-14.

Costly flag: The Bills have had plenty of issues with penalties this season, but the costliest flag so far may have been the one issued to fullback Frank Summers in the third quarter. Summers was called for defensive holding before a Carolina punt, giving the Panthers an automatic first down. Four plays later, Cam Newton connected on a 40-yard bomb with Ted Ginn Jr. for a touchdown.

Injury issues: The Panthers have been hit hard by injuries in the secondary. Cornerback Josh Thomas suffered a concussion in the second quarter, then the Panthers lost cornerback Josh Norman and safeties Charles Godfrey and Quintin Mikell in the third quarter. Mikell later returned to the game.

First turnover: Bills rookie quarterback EJ Manuel's first career turnover came late in the third quarter. Manuel was sacked by Mikell, fumbling in the process. The ball was recovered for Carolina by former Bill Dwan Edwards.


EJ Manuel | Frank Summers | Fred Jackson | Kiko Alonso | Robert Woods
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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 |