Stevie Johnson caught the game-winning touchdown pass from Bills quarterback EJ Manuel to give the Bills a 24-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers. (Photo: Kevin Hoffman — USA Today Sports)
BBD Staff Writer: Ryan Talbot
FINAL THOUGHTS: What a way for Buffalo Bills rookie quaterback EJ Manuel to win his first game. Down six points with 1:38 remaining in the game, Manuel showed incredible composure in moving the Bills down the field. Most of the passes were short, but Manuel was able to get the ball to his open receivers.
At one point, it looked as though the game was over after Manuel threw an interception. The play was negated, however, as Stevie Johnson, Manuel’s intended receiver, was interfered with by Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly. After a nice run by Manuel, the quarterback found Stevie Johnson wide open in the end zone with two seconds remaining.
Manuel gets the game ball on offense as he went 27-of-39 for 296 yards with one touchdown and one interception. C.J. Spiller led the team in rushing with 103 yards on 16 carries and Stevie Johnson led the team in receiving with 111 yards and a touchdown on eight receptions.
Defensively, Mario Williams set a new team record with 4.5 sacks on Cam Newton. Williams could have had another sack or two, but was held consistently. This game was by far Mario’s best as a Buffalo Bill. Rookie Kiko Alonso also had a great game with ten total tackles (9-1), one interception and one sack. Buffalo did a fantastic job of holding the Panthers to field goals when the Panthers were given a short field.
The Bills move to 1-1 and have plenty of momentum as the team gets ready to play the New York Jets in Week 3. After a win like this, there is plenty to feel good about as a Bills fan.