Anthony Richardson quarterbacked the Colts' first three drives of their 2023 preseason opener Saturday at Highmark Stadium against the Buffalo Bills, completing seven of 12 passes for 67 yards. Richardson, the 2023 No. 4 overall pick, threw an interception on his first drive and rushed twice for seven yards.
The Colts' offense improved, though, over its three drives with Richardson and the first-team unit on the field. After a five-play, 16-yard drive ended with Dane Jackson intercepting Richardson, the Colts put together an eight-play, 35-yard drive and a 14-play, 83-yard drive before giving way to the second-team offense.
View highlights from the Colts versus Buffalo Bills preseason game at Highmark Stadium on August 12.
On that lengthy final possession, the Colts' offensive line opened up a few running lanes for Deon Jackson (three carries, 20 yards on it) while Richardson made good decisions with a zippy strike to tight end Kylen Granson for a 20-yard gain and a handful of check-downs, screens and quick throws. Richardson also threw a pretty deep ball wide receiver Alec Pierce was not able to haul in near the goal line; the offense later wasn't able to overcome a red zone holding penalty assessed to tight end Pharaoh Brown.
"I think I did pretty decent," Richardson told Colts Media's Larra Overton during the game. "It's taught me a lot so far. I can't be reckless with the ball, I got to be on the same page as my receivers, be on the same page as everybody on the offense. But overall I think I did pretty decent and I can do a lot better."
"... I still got a lot of room for improvement and I'm just excited I even got a chance to go out there."
Veteran Gardner Minshew tagged in for Richardson in the second quarter for the Colts' fourth and fifth possessions of the game. The first drive was wiped out by consecutive sacks on first and second down, but Minshew picked apart the Bills' defense over a 12-play, 88-yard march that ended with a one-yard touchdown by running back Jake Funk.
Minshew on that drive completed all six of his pass attempts for 72 yards, and connected with rookie Josh Downs and third-year wideout Mike Strachan for impressive completions on it.
Sam Ehlinger took all the Colts' snaps at quarterback in the second half. Rookie Darius Rush notched a 52-yard pick six in the third quarter, but the Colts fell, 23-19, to the Bills.