Well, the season finale is finally here. We Bills fans can now sit back and watch the playoffs - you know, to see what real NFL football is supposed to look like - while also looking forward to debating how the Bills should go about putting Humpty Dumpty back together again. If I can offer a few words that I really hope all of you will take to heart, they are as follows: dig in, folks. None of us want to start a long re-building process, but that is what we are looking at. Yes, it is possible that a new coach can come in and have instant success, but the odds on that are long. Like it or not, this franchise is re-building yet again. Or is it still?
Anyway, the last five meeting between these former division rivals are after the jump.
Monday, December 11, 2000: Colts 44, Bills 20
After the first half of play, the Colts were clinging to a slim 9-6 lead, as Mike Vanderjagt was winning the field goal battle with Steve Christie. The Colts then rattled off four touchdowns - two on runs by Edgerrin James and two on defensive scores, as Bernard Holsey picked up a fumble and went 48 yards to the end zone, while Mustafah Muhammad scored on a 40 yard pick-six. The Colts' defense put on the clamps, finishing with a whopping nine sacks and two interceptions. Former Bills Cornelius Bennett (2 sacks) and Jeff Burris (1 sack, 1 INT) had nice days defensively for the Colts.
Sunday, September 23, 2001: Colts 42, Bills 26
Peyton Manning ripped the Bills apart in this one. Manning finished 23 of 29 for 421 yards with 4 TDs. Nate Clements did pick him off and bring it back 48 yards for a score; in fact, that was the first score of the game. It was followed by two straight scores by the Colts, a one-yard plunge by James and a 60-yard pass to Jerome Pathon. After Travis Henry tied it up with a four-yard dash of his own, Manning hit Marvin Harrison for two straight 39-yard touchdown passes, effectively ending the game. Jake Arians hit a field goal for Buffalo, only to see Manning and Harrison hook up again, this time for a 7-yard touchdown. Rob Johnson was sacked four times by the Colts, but the great Leif Larsen recorded a sack for the Bills.
Sunday, November 4, 2001: Colts 30, Bills 14
After a scoreless first quarter, Manning open the scoring with a 15-yard pass to Marcus Pollard. Clements returned a punt 66 yards to get the Bills on the board, but Indy put up the next 20 points. Two Vanderjagt field goals, a Dominic Rhodes dive and a Manning 33-yard scramble for a touchdown - yes, you are reading that right - accounted for those points. Jay Riemersma added a touchdown late for the Bills. Johnson once again got pummeled by the Colts' defense, this time getting sacked six times. If you are keeping count, that is three games with Johnson at QB, with the Colts tallying 19 sacks.
Sunday, November 23, 2003: Colts 17, Bills 14
With the Bills up 7-3 thanks to a Drew Bledsoe QB sneak, Sammy Morris punched one in from 7 yards out to give the Bills a 14-3 lead early in the fourth quarter. James, however, then scored twice, from 1 and 14 yards out, to give the Colts the victory. The statue-like Bledsoe was only sacked twice by the Colts.
Sunday, November 12, 2006: Colts 17, Bills 16
The 3-6 Bills went into Indianapolis and scared the crap out of the 9-0 Colts. Despite a less then stellar day from J.P. Losman (8 of 12 for 83 yards), the Bills found themselves down 17-10 mid-way through the third quarter. Rian Lindell hit two filed goals to bring the Bills to the edge, but they couldn't get themselves over the hump. Terrence McGee picked up a fumble and brought it back 68 yards for the Bills' only touchdown.
Yes, that is five straight losses to the Colts; if you go back further, it is actually six straight. Can the Bills break the streak and salvage some respectability this year? Or will they prove that they are so bad they can't even beat the Colts' scrubs?