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Tyrod Taylor most impressive of Bills quarterbacks

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Finally free of Rex Ryan's swarming defense, the Buffalo Bills' beleaguered quarterbacks exceeded expectations in a 25-24 loss to the Carolina Panthers in the teams' preseason opener.

Veteran Matt Cassel, the starter by default, converted a pair of third down in two series, finishing 7 of 8 for 45 yards. He did not lead a scoring drive, thanks in part to a shanked field goal by Jordan Gay.

The second quarterback through the rotation, Tyrod Taylor, was the most impressive of the trio, converting both of his possessions into touchdowns. Taylor bedeviled the Panthers' second-team defense with legs, escaping pressure in the pocket and reeling off 47 yards via scrambles and designed runs. After the game, Rex Ryan announced that Taylor will start the team's next preseason contest next Thursday against the Browns

EJ Manuel didn't get much help from his supporting cast. His first drive was sabotaged by a pair of bobbled shotgun snaps, and his receivers dropped three passes. He can't blame anyone else for a severely underthrown third-down pass to tight end Nick O'Leary. Manuel's lone bright spot was a perfect 51-yard strike for a Deonte Thompson touchdown.

By dint of his energizing performance versus the Panthers and his tentative status as the second quarterback in the rotation, Taylor seems likely to start next week's game at Cleveland. Manuel, meanwhile, seems to be fading into the background.

We'll have a better idea on the standing of all three quarterbacks after Ryan addresses this media.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast features the gang sharing their takeaways on the start of the preseason.

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