INDIANAPOLIS – After months of building anticipation, the Colts 2015 regular season commences in Buffalo.
The Colts and Bills, two teams with plenty of offseason attention, will meet for a 1:00 p.m. EST kickoff at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
What should fans be looking for when the Colts head to Buffalo to get things started in 2015?
-This term applies to a defensive key every week. But against Buffalo, it can't be stressed much more. In facing the running threat of quarterback Tyrod Taylor and the shiftiness of running back LeSean McCoy, staying gap sound is a must. If pass rushing splits get a little out of wack, that can open up massive running lanes for Taylor.
2. Protecting 12
-The Buffalo Bills led the NFL with 54 sacks last season. They will bring exotic looks at Andrew Luck and the Colts offensive line. What makes the Bills front so potent is they have quality, quality bodies in the interior and also off the edge. Matt Hasselbeck says Rex Ryan tries to give off an illusion of who to block, often giving the defense free blitzers.
3. Ready Rookies
-All the talk this week has been about the Colts starting two rookie defensive linemen on Sunday. While that's of course a headline, the rookie impacts don't stop there. Draft picks Phillip Dorsett, D'Joun Smith, Clayton Geathers and Josh Robinson are all expected to see significant time within their respective units.
4. Davis Shadow?
-This question won't have an answer until the first defensive series for the Colts. Back at Training Camp, the Colts said the next step for Davis would be to try him out in shadowing some other team's top wide receivers. Davis and Sammy Watkins would be quite the matchup on Sunday, if the Colts do indeed employ their Pro Bowl cornerback on the blossoming star in Buffalo.
5. Mathis' Debut?
-Robert Mathis is officially listed as questionable for Sunday's regular season opener in Buffalo. Mathis has been limited in practice all week so if he does end up giving it a go on Sunday, his reps would likely be limited. The last time the Colts had Mathis on the field was the 2014 AFC Divisional Round playoff loss in New England.
*6. Handling The Atmosphere *
-Sunday should be a tremendous environment in Buffalo. Season ticket sales soared in Buffalo this offseason, thanks to all the intrigue behind Rex Ryan's arrival. The Colts will play just three times on the road in the first two months of the season.
7. Fast Start
-The best way to combat a boisterous crowd on Sunday would be for the Colts to get out of the block quick. The Colts had several fast starts last season, particularly during the five-game winning streak. A bit of a quirky stat for the Colts is that they are just 3-5 in their last eight openers, despite consistent playoff appearances. The Colts haven't won a road season opener since the 2006 season.