Buffalo Bills: 2013 Week 2 CAR at BUF

Bills' Summers surprised by penalty

September, 15, 2013
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- About fifteen minutes after the Buffalo Bills came from behind to defeat the Carolina Panthers, 24-23, fullback Frank Summers sat deep in his locker, facing the room. He was dressed, but not quite ready to leave.

It was the sort of look you would expect from a player after a tough loss. After all, the Bills' close win came only after Summers committed a critical holding penalty on a fourth-and-18 punt in the third quarter, leading to a Panthers touchdown.

Though only scored as a 6-yard infraction, the flag came before the punt, giving the Panthers an automatic first down.

"The call ... it all surprised me," Summers said. "Real tough call. On [special] teams you're trying to hold up people."

A squat 5-foot-9, 248-pound bruiser, Summers has the prototypical fullback build. Pittsburgh drafted him in the fifth round in 2009, and he played in three games before a back injury ended his rookie season. After stints on the Steelers' and San Diego's practice squads the next two seasons, Summers spent last season out of football.

The Bills resurrected his career this offseason, and after not playing an offensive snap on opening day, Summers was a big part of the game plan Sunday.

"Going into the game, we watched the film and they gave out the game plan. I looked it over. There was a big '21' [two running backs, one tight end] package in," he said. "I was excited. Felt like I could make up from last week. Given the opportunities, I just wanted to take advantage of them."

Lining up on offense for the first time in four seasons, Summers made the most of his chance early, rumbling for 34 yards on a catch-and-run on the Bills' first play from scrimmage.

His second half, though, was rough. Summers' special-teams penalty led to Panthers points, and later in the third quarter he allowed Panthers safety Quintin Mikell to strip-sack quarterback EJ Manuel, with Carolina recovering the fumble deep in Bills' territory.

"It was a down time for me. Football is not a sprint, it's a marathon," Summers said. "You have to let that play go and go onto the next, just make sure you don't make the mistake again."

Rapid Reaction: Bills 24, Panthers 23

September, 15, 2013

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- A few thoughts on the Buffalo Bills' 24-23 victory over the Carolina Panthers.

What it means for Bills: Big comeback win for EJ Manuel, who led the Bills on an 80-yard drive with 1:38 remaining and no timeouts. The biggest play of the drive was a pass-interference penalty on the Panthers, giving the Bills a fresh set of downs in the Panthers' red zone. Manuel then found Stevie Johnson on a 2-yard touchdown catch with two seconds remaining. The Bills avoided an 0-2 start, but barely. Too many penalties and turnovers for them in this game.

Stock watch: Falling -- Manuel. After avoiding critical mistakes in the opener, Manuel was strip-sacked and then intercepted on back-to-back drives in the second half. Both turnovers came deep in Bills territory, but the Bills' defense was able to bail him out, holding the Panthers to field goals both times. Manuel's best throws of the game came in the middle of the field. He struggled in the red zone until the last drive, when he found Johnson, who was wide open.

Mario Williams sets team record: Defensive end Mario Williams notched 4.5 sacks in the game, setting both team and personal records. Williams' previous career high was 3.5 sacks on Dec. 13, 2007, when he was a member of the Houston Texans.

Penalties problematic, again: The penalty problem just gets worse for the Bills. In the third quarter, fullback Frank Summers was flagged for a holding penalty on a fourth-and-18 punt, giving the Panthers the first down. Carolina turned the opportunity into a touchdown. Later in the quarter, safety Aaron Williams was penalized for unnecessary roughness on third-and-12, but the Panthers couldn't capitalize on the gift first down.

What's next: The Bills (1-1) make their first road trip in nearly a month, traveling to face the New York Jets. It's the Bills' second AFC East tilt in their first three games. The Bills play just five more games at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season, and just once after Nov. 17.