Colts Fall to Buffalo in Toronto, 34-21
"SOME REAL POSITIVE THINGS"
Indianapolis lost to Buffalo, 34-21, Thursday night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.
And while the loss dropped the Colts to 0-2 in preseason play, the results were not all negative. Far from it.
For one, Indianapolis native and Colts free agent running back Devin Moore was productive, in the backfield and the return game. Moore, a Cardinal Ritter High School graduate, had six return opportunities in the first quarter and made the most of each one.
Moore averaged 32.3 yards with a long of 37 on four kick returns. He also fielded two punts for a 25.5-yard average, including a 49-yard return that set the Colts up at the Buffalo 17-yard line for their second touchdown to tie the game 14-14 late in the first quarter.
Moore would not take credit for his performance and spoke about what goes through his mind prior to the kicks during a fourth-quarter interview with sideline reporter Jeffrey Gorman on WTTV-4.
"I have to give it all to my teammates," Moore said. "They opened a lot of holes out there. I was gracious that they put a couple of guys on their back(s) and allowed me to run.
"My coach tells me to always stay focused and hold onto the ball, that's my biggest thing. Playing against a great group of guys in the NFL, you know, big guys, you are going to take a lot of hits and you want to hold onto the ball. You want to let them know that even though you are a small guy, you can protect the ball and they can trust you with it. It was all due to my teammates. It may have looked like I made them miss, but it was more so the blocks than me making some shake moves."
Colts Head Coach Jim Caldwell, who has said this preseason that improvement is key in the return game and that he is looking forwad to the competition at the position, was impressed with Moore's effort.
"(Moore) added a spark", Caldwell said during a halftime interview with WTTV-4. "He did a nice job of finding seams to run in and certainly turned on the juice there a little bit. Some real positive, positive things happened with him."
Moore did not return kicks or punts in last Sunday's preseason opener against San Francisco, but did lead the Colts in rushing, carrying the ball four times for 26 yards.
Thursday night, Moore rushed six times for 26 yards, a 4.3 average.
"I did not do as well as I wanted to individually, but I think we had a great rushing attack today," Moore said after the game with Kevin Lee of Colts Radio. "The offensive line opened up holes, we were out there having fun and that's all you can ask."
The Colts rushed the ball 24 times for 112 yards on the night, highlighted by Joseph Addai's 17-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.
While the Colts only held the ball for 4:40 in the second quarter, backup quarterback Curtis Painter made the most of that time.
Painter, who took over after Peyton Manning exited at the end of the first quarter, completed 3-of-3 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown in the second quarter.
"Getting in a rhythm early, getting some completions, making a few plays, just letting things happen, I think that naturally calms you down a little bit," Painter said about his performance after the game in an interview with Colts Radio.
During that drive, Painter connected with receiver Taj Smith on back-to-back plays and scored from 43 yards out to tie the game at 21-21. Smith's two catches netted 81 yards on the drive.
"I was just running takeoff routes, just trying to get over the top of the defender, and even though he grabbed me I still had to concentrate on catching the ball," Smith said to Colts Radio.
Painter finished the night completing 5-of-6 passes for 97 yards and one touchdown—a 158.3 passer rating—while Smith led the Colts with three catches for 91 yards and a score.
-Running back Joseph Addai scored from 17 yards out in the first quarter after splitting the blocks off the right side of the offensive line provided by guard Mike Pollak and tackle Ryan Diem. It was Addai's second rushing touchdown in two preseason games.
-Tight end Jacob Tamme made a difficult, diving catch in the end zone from Peyton Manning in the first quarter to tie the game at 14-14. It marked Tamme's second receiving touchdown in as many games.
-Defensively, Deshea Townsend, Gary Brackett, Eric Foster, Terrell Skinner and Cody Glenn each had tackles for losses.
-Defensive back Terrail Lambert led the Colts with nine tackles, two pass deflections and had one forced fumble.
-Rookie Javarris James led the team in rushing, carrying the ball eight times for 29 yards and a 3.6-yard average.
-Indianapolis was two-for-two in the red zone, scoring two touchdowns, one rushing and one passing.