The Buffalo Bills took the field for the first time since the end of the 2021 season and we are here to talk about what went down.
Bills/Colts First Quarter
It was the Bills twos versus the Colts ones and right away the Bills, led by quarterback Case Keenum, drove down the field. Rookie wide receiver, Khalil Shakir made an immediate impression by catching his first two targets. Zach Moss ripped off a 27-yard run, bouncing an inside run, back to the outside. The drive ended inside the ten, with a failed fourth down attempt. Even still, the drive looked good.
On the Colts’ ensuing drive, Buffalo’s backup defense forced a three and out of the Colts starters, minus Jonathan Taylor; however, Keenum gave the ball back to the Colts, getting picked off when wide receiver Jamison Crowder was unable to make the catch and tipped up to the Colts defense. Buffalo’s defense kept the Colts out of the endzone, holding them to three points.
The first quarter ended with a score of 3 – 0 and a fourth stop by the Bills’ defense when rookie, sixth-round pick Christian Benford make a nice play breaking up a fourth-down pass attempt by quarterback Matt Ryan but the Bills wide receiver Jake Kumerow had a nice catch and run to convert the first down but then promptly coughed up the ball on the hit. Two turnovers by Buffalo’s second teamers in just one quarter is not good; however, we saw some nice plays from some of the youngsters.
Bills/Colts Second Quarter
The second quarter started with the Colts with possession and their first teamers still on the field. After a holding penalty, followed by a sack, the Colts attempted another fourth down and could not convert. At this point, I’m impressed with what I’m seeing for the most part from the defense. Again, a reminder, it’s Buffalo’s number twos going against the Colts’ number ones.
Buffalo continued to turn the ball over in the second half when Keenum was sacked and fumbled. This was three turnovers on three consecutive drives; however, the Bills defense delivered a big-time play when Bills end Boogie Basham sacked Colts quarterback Nick Foles and he too fumbled, but rookie linebacker Terrel Bernard scooped up the fumble and went 69 yards for the touchdown and the lead.
Bills’ defense was having a day as they continued to dominate, this time it was Jaquan Johnson with the pick and a great return, only to have Keenum toss up another interception on the following drive, this being their fourth consecutive turnover. Fortunately, Keenum isn’t the starting quarterback.
Buffalo’s defense would finally surrender a touchdown with less than two minutes remaining in the half, when Elam was picked on the route, resulting in a wide-open touchdown reception. The offense continued their poor play, primarily Keenum. He has simply not looked the part but at least we got to see Matt Araiza on the ensuing drive, launch an 82-yard bomb of a kick on his very first NFL punt!
Bills/Colts Third Quarter
The third quarter opened with the Colts receiving possession and drove down the field. At one point, Buffalo made a huge sack, but they bailed the Colts out with a penalty and subsequently gave up a touchdown on the opening drive.
Buffalo’s first drive of the second half, featured Matt Barkley and a couple of catches each on the drive from Shakir and Hodgins but ultimately stalled, resulting in a field goal from kicker, Tyler Bass. The third quarter would end with the Colts leading 16 – 10.
Bills/Colts Fourth Quarter
Buffalo surrendered another turnover, fifth of the game, this time, it was Matt Barkley throwing an interception. The Ehlinger led Colts’ offense turned the interception into a touchdown and 24 – 10 lead, after converting a two-point conversion.
Buffalo finally got a drive going mid-way in the fourth, hitting rookie Raheem Blackshear on a couple of underneath passes, that he turned into impressive run after the catch plays. Isaiah Hodgins showed up again as well on this drive making a great diving catch down the sideline, setting up the Bills inside the five yard line. Blackshear put an exclamation point on the drive, scoring from a yard out.
The Bills’ defense did their job on the Colts’ next drive and Barkley and company came out and drove down the field again, getting the ball down inside the five yard line again and Blackshear took it into the endzone again. Buffalo would go for two and Duke Johnson scored, tying the game at 24.
Buffalo got another stop, forcing a punt, and moved the ball again, featuring Hodgins a great deal, making big plays. The Bills’ got into field goal range from 46 yards out, hitting the three for the win as time expired! That’s nine consecutive pre-season wins for the Buffalo Bills!
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