It's halftime in today's preseason opener between the Buffalo Bills and the Indianapolis Colts, with the Bills on top by a score of 20-13 after 30 minutes.
Marquise Goodwin was the clear star of the first half for the Bills, with a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown (and 160 yards on two kick returns) to even the score at 13-13 midway through the second quarter. Buffalo took their 20-13 lead on a two-minute drive to close out the half, with EJ Manuel throwing a 17-yard strike to Dorin Dickerson for the go-ahead score against Indy's deep defensive reserves.
It was a so-so debut for Manuel, who looked good statistically, completing 16 of 21 passes for 107 yards with the touchdown, and also adding 28 rushing yards on three carries. Manuel looked awfully tentative early, didn't take many risks, threw a lot of short passes and struggled to get past his first read on multiple occasions, but as an NFL debut, there were certainly positive signs - particularly the type of throw he made to Dickerson to close out the half.
C.J. Spiller also looked strong right out of the gate, picking up 36 yards on four carries.
Defensively, Mario Williams picked up an early sack and Mike Pettine's unit forced two turnovers - one a Da'Norris Searcy fumble recovery (on a big hit from Ron Brooks), and the other a Crezdon Butler interception (on a tipped pass by Manny Lawson). Then again, Brooks was burned by T.Y. Hilton on a 45-yard touchdown pass from Matt Hasselbeck.
Bottom line: the first and second units were up and down today, with good signs on both sides of the ball (and most definitely on special teams, as well).
This is your open thread for the second half, in which our focus will turn to players like Jeff Tuel. Onward!