Colts defeat Bills in preseason opener, 19-18
The Indianapolis Colts managed to rally in the second half to defeat the Buffalo Bills in the preseason opener, 19-18.
The Colts put on an uneven preseason debut in Buffalo tonight. After an early 9-0 hole, the team rallied to tie the game by halftime as their play seemed to improve with each possession.
Andrew Luck took the night off and Scott Tolzien shrugged off a slow start to put together several nice drives late in the half. Tolzien would finish completing 12-of-23 attempts for 140 yards and a touchdown. He did leave a number of throws on the field and was lucky to not have a couple interceptions.
Tolzien’s lone touchdown came on a perfectly called running back screen to Jordan Todman, who took it 42 yards for paydirt.
More from Horseshoe Heroes
- Colts explored hiring former quarterback and current ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky
- When is the NFL Combine 2023? NFL Combine schedule, events, how to stream
- Latest NFL mock draft has Colts trading up to No. 1 for star QB
- Eagles offensive free agents that could follow Shane Steichen to Colts
- Here’s why Colts linebacker Shaq Leonard is going to love Shane Steichen
Stephen Morris took over for Tolzien in the second half, and helped give the Colts the lead early in the fourth. Morris found wide receiver Chester Rodgers on a post and Rodgers shrugged off a defender on his way towards the 57-yard TD. Morris finished the game completing 5-of-9 passes for 104 yards and the touchdown. He also had three scrambles for 19 yards.
While the Colts were able to move the ball through the air (to some degree), the same could not be said of the rushing attack. The running backs combined for 19 carries for 11 yards.
The ground game issues seem to be related to a bad combination of poor blocking and bad play calling. The offense’s run plays seemed far too predictable and the backs had zero space to work with.
The starting defense, or at least something close to starting, only gave up one touchdown in their limited time on the field. The Bills managed to get two points on a blocked punt that was tapped out of the endzone for a safety.
Earl Okine and Josh McNary both notched sacks while T.Y. McGill and Curt Maggitt had a few tackles for losses. McGill had a number of plays that won’t show up on the stat sheet, but were just what you want to see at his positions.
On special teams, coverage is still a work in progress but the trio of Adam Vinatieri Pat McAfee, and Quan Bray all played very well. McAfee averaged 58.6 yards per punt tonight, including a boomer that went 67.