BUFFALO –First Quarter Recap
Without Andrew Luck, Scott Tolzien took the reigns with the first-team offense on Saturday night. The offense, also sans Frank Gore, mustered an opening drive first down before having to punt.
The Bills offense would also start things off with a punt, following a first down.
The final drive of the night for the bulk of the starting offense ended with a three-and-out. However, a blocked punt by the Bills led to Pat McAfee batting the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety. The Bills led 2-0 at the 8:36 mark of the first quarter.
Taking over after the safety, the Bills replaced starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor with E.J. Manuel. A former first-round pick, Manuel took the Bills on a nine-play, 69-yard touchdown drive. Manuel hit tight end Chris Gragg on a 19-yard corner route for the score. The Bills lead was 9-0 with 4:08 left in the first quarter.
Teams would trade punts to end the first.
At the end of the first quarter, the Bills led the Colts 9-0.Second Quarter Recap
The second quarter began with more starters trickling out of the game.
Both the Bills and Colts continued to punt to start the second quarter.
After several three-and-out drives, the Colts offense was able to string together a couple of first downs midway through the second quarter. The drive would stall though and Pat McAfee was brought on for yet another punt.
Another punt from the Bills moved the count to 11 combined punts in 12 drives on the night, with both offenses led by their second string quarterbacks for entirely the whole first half.
The Colts saw their best drive of the night lead into Bills territory, and eventually the end zone. A perfectly timed screen pass led to Jordan Todman taking off 42 yards, all but untouched, into the end zone. The Bills lead was 9-6, after a failed two-point conversion, with 1:46 left in the first half.
A Josh McNary sack led to yet another three-and-out for the Bills offense.
With good field position, Scott Tolzien led a quick five-play, 55-yard drive that got the Colts into field goal range. Adam Vinatieri knocked home a 24-yard field goal to knot the score at half.
At halftime, the Colts and Bills were tied 9-9.Third Quarter Recap
At the end of the third quarter, the Colts led the Bills 12-9.
The Bills began the third quarter with a second scoring drive from Manuel and the offense. A nine-play, 61-yard drive ended with a 37-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter. The Bills re-took the lead, 12-9, with 10:48 to go in the third quarter.
Stephen Morris took over for Tolzien to start the second half. Morris' first drive ended in a three-and-out.
With both teams employing their third string quarterback, the rest of the quarter would end with punts.
At the end of the third quarter, the Bills led the Colts 12-9.Fourth Quarter Recap
The fourth quarter began with Buffalo misfiring on a scoring opportunity. Dan Carpenter was wide left on a 53-yard field goal, and the Colts would pounce on another opportunity.
Facing a third-and-10, Morris found undrafted wide receiver Chester Rogers near the first-down marker. Rogers then broke a tackle, turned up field and was untouched the rest of the way. The 57-yard touchdown gave the Colts a 16-12 lead with 10:42 remaining.
It was a very nice evening for the reserves on the defensive side of the ball. The Colts defense forced another punt to give the offense the ball back with the lead, midway through the fourth quarter.
Thanks to the defense, the Colts were able to run out most of the clock, by adding one more field goal, on Saturday night.
One final drive from the Bills got them into the end zone, but a failed two-point conversion ended the game.
A final score of 19-18 gave the Colts a preseason opening victory in Buffalo.
The Colts will return home the next two weeks of the preseason. They will host the Ravens for a 7:00 p.m. kickoff on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Colts In-Game Injuries
ILB-Sio Moore (hamstring, will not return)
OG-Denzelle Good (knee, will not return)
OT-Kevin Graf (ankle, carted off for X-rays)
CB- D'Joun Smith,
Colts Pre-Game Notes
- Saturday night's game (7:00 p.m. kickoff) can be seen locally on FOX 59. To live stream the game, head here for details.
- The Colts are beginning the preseason in Buffalo. This is the only time the Colts will get on a plane in the next five weeks. Their only other road game during that stretch is a bus trip to Cincinnati to close clout the preseason.
It's a sticky summer night in Buffalo. Scattered showers are in the forecast around Ralph Wilson Stadium.