E.J. Manuel had a rocky second career NFL start. While he showed flashes of brilliance to give the Bills reason to believe that he can be their solution at quarterback, he suffered his first growing pains that almost every single young quarterback suffers in the NFL. He finished the day 27/39 for 296 yards, with 1 TD and 1 INT. His turnovers were almost costly for the Bills, but none of that really matters after Manuel marched the Bills 80 yards down the field in 1:40 to give the Bills the lead with just 2 seconds remaining. I think it’s safe to go ahead and get your Manuel jersey before next week.
Mario Williams was the Bills best player on Sunday. He had a career high 4.5 sacks. While the first of his sacks was an absolute gift after Cam Newton essentially fell at his feet, Williams was the terror in the backfield that Bills fan expected to see every week when he was signed as a free agent before last season. Williams and the Bills defense was able to contain Cam Newton and the Panthers offense, who struggled to put the ball into the end zone for the second straight week.
Another stand out on the defensive side of the ball was corner back Leodis McKelvin. McKelvin, who has been thrust into a larger role in the secondary with Stephon Gilmore sidelined by injury, has continued to shine. McKelvin, primarily responsible for lining up across from All-Pro Steve Smith broke up a number of passes throughout the game. With McKelvin’s emergence, the Bills secondary is looking like it could be a plus area for the team once reinforcements return from the infirmary.