NFL Thursday Night Football Preview: Carolina Panthers at Buffalo Bills

By: Brad Shepard

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The NFL preseason kicks off on Thursday night at 7 PM ET with a much anticipated match-up between the Carolina Panthers and Buffalo Bills.

Normally, the preseason is a time to finalize rosters, give unproven players an opportunity and let veterans get into a rhythm for the regular season. This time, it’s more than that.

Insert Kelvin Benjamin. Benjamin, who was drafted by the Panthers, recently did an interview with The Athletic, speaking about his tenure in Carolina.

“I mean, I felt like I would've been even more successful if ... I don't know, man ... if I would've ... looking back on it, I should've just been drafted by somebody else. I should've never went to Carolina. Truly, I just think Carolina was bad for me. It was a bad fit from the get-go.”

"If you would've put me with any other quarterback, let's be real, you know what I'm saying? Any other accurate quarterback like Rodgers or Eli Manning or Big Ben -- anybody! -- quarterbacks with knowledge, that know how to place a ball and give you a better chance to catch the ball. It just felt like I wasn't in that position.”

Benjamin later tweeted that he’s been holding it all in and now he's free, love him or hate him.

Panthers quarterback Cam Newton posted a 58.5 completion percentage during Benjamin’s rookie season and has yet to break 60 percent more than twice in his seven seasons in the NFL.  A frequent criticism of Newton is that he tends to overthrow receivers.  Benjamin was traded to the Bills last season.

The Panthers are sporting a new look offense under offensive coordinator Norv Turner, and he believes Newton can sport a mid to high 60’s completion percentage, which seems rather optimistic.

A.J. McCarron and Nathan Peterman are battling for the starting quarterback position in Buffalo, while Josh Allen will likely take a backseat.  The Bills struggles at quarterback will continue.  After his remarks about Newton, one must wonder how Benjamin feels about that.

Are you ready for some football?