Poz, defense force five turnovers in W (Photo Source)
The Buffalo Bills were the first visitors ever to Indianapolis' brand new Lucas Oil Stadium, and the Bills proved to be rude party guests, stealing a 20-7 victory over the Colts in the team's third pre-season game of the season. Buffalo looked strong and consistent in all three areas of the game, but it was Turk Schonert's offense that hummed along as if it were in mid-season form, even with backup QB J.P. Losman running the show.
Buffalo's starting offense put together an 18-play, 93-yard drive in the second quarter, eating up 10 minutes of clock and converting four third downs; RB Xavier Omon capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run, giving the Bills an early 10-0 lead in the game. Losman was efficient in a half of action, completing 13 of 19 passes for 108 yards, though he did sustain another injury to his throwing hand.
Lee Evans and Josh Reed got into the act as well. Buffalo's two "starting" receivers (James Hardy sat this one out, as did Roscoe Parrish) caught a combined 9 passes for 78 yards, and were instrumental in the Bills' offense being so consistent on the evening. Schonert, however, was the real star of this game; his play-calling was shrewd and kept Indy's defense off-balance for the majority of the game. It was his offense, more than the players, that performed so well Sunday night.
Defense Blows Game Open
Buffalo's defense was excellent on the evening - though that was expected, seeing as Peyton Manning sat the game out for Indy. Buffalo's defense forced five turnovers on the evening. The first was the most productive, as CB Terrence McGee scooped up a Joseph Addai fumble and returned it 68 yards to give the Bills a 17-0 first half lead and effectively seal the game. Ashton Youboty, Keith Ellison, John Wendling and Reggie Corner got in on the act as well, each recording an interception off of beleaguered Colts backup QB Quinn Gray.
The defense surrendered just 33 rushing yards on the evening, and take away a 94-yard touchdown pass on a blown coverage by Leodis McKelvin, and the Bills gave up just 116 yards through the air. Again, it wasn't completely unexpected as they were largely facing marginal NFL players - especially at quarterback - but it was an impressive showing nonetheless.
The game wasn't all bright and shiny, however. Left tackle Langston Walker - Buffalo's most valuable offensive lineman with Jason Peters pouting - injured his forearm on a throwaway block late in the second quarter and did not return. He was replaced in the lineup by Demetrius Bell, who performed admirably; X-rays on Walker's arm were negative, and the severity of the injury (i.e., how much time Walker may miss) is not yet known. Jason Peters' holdout never looked more desperate than it does tonight for the Bills.
Much more on this game in the coming days, including a Film Session or two. This was a strong showing for the Bills top to bottom.
Thanks to the 23 folks who came out for tonight's open thread (listed below). Props to norcaliangelsfan, who paced the night with a smooth 180 comments on a Buffalo Rumblings open thread record night.
Here's who joined us: norcaliangelsfan, NJBillsfan, Bluebill, krytime, Kurupt, jj24, Krenn, D.O., LGB, RabidBuffalo, Fucilli5, SuperFan82, Cinga, raptoreggs, poz, Ron From NM, mckelvin, jri111, thurman, GoldenGoose, JTM1023, sireric, Optimist. Thanks guys!