Carolina Panthers' Joe Webb, right, looks to pass under pressure from Buffalo Bills' Randell Johnson, left, during the second half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Mike McCarn

Carolina Panthers' Joe Webb, right, looks to pass under pressure from Buffalo Bills' Randell Johnson, left, during the second half of a preseason NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Friday, Aug. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Panthers fall short in preseason opener

By STEVE REED

Associated Press

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CHARLOTTE – Anthony Dixon ran for a touchdown, Dan Carpenter had a pair of field goals and the Buffalo Bills defeated the Carolina Panthers, 20-18, on Friday night in a preseason game.

EJ Manuel completed 9 of 13 passes for 96 yards but the Bills struggled to cash in on scoring opportunities for the second straight game.

Buffalo’s first-team offense reached Carolina territory on its first three possessions but managed just three points.

Rookie Kelvin Benjamin had no such problem finding the end zone.

Carolina’s first-round draft pick turned in the play of the game, thrilling fans with a stumbling, diving 32-yard touchdown reception in his NFL debut.

Racing down the left sideline, Benjamin stumbled after contact with cornerback Stephon Gilmore but maintained his balance long enough to haul in a diving catch in the end zone from Derek Anderson.

Anderson started for Cam Newton, who rested his recovering left ankle.

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