Indianapolis Colts seek first win at Buffalo since 2003

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INDIANAPOLIS (5-5) in BUFFALO (6-3)

Sunday, 1:00 PM EST, CBS

BET LINE: Buffalo to 7 according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST SPREAD: Buffalo 6-3; Indianapolis 6-4.

SERIAL RECORD: Bills ahead 38-32-1.

LAST MEETING: The Bono defeated the Colts 27-24 in an AFC wild card elimination match on January 9 in Buffalo.

LAST WEEK: Colts beat Jaguars 23-17; The Bills beat the New York Jets 45-17.

COLTS Offense: TOTAL (12), SPEED (8), PASSING (22), SCORING (8).

COLTS DEFENSE: GENERAL (19), SPEED (17), PASS (20), SCORING (13).

INVOICE CELL: GENERAL (5), SPEED (10), PASS (6), SCORING (2)

EXCHANGE DEFENSE: GENERAL (1), SPEED (3), PASSAGE (2), SCORING (1)

TURNOVER DIFFERENCE: Colts plus-11; Bills plus-14.

COLTS PLAYER TO WATCH: DT DeForest Buckner. While the Colts face the NFL’s top-ranked defense, they’re also struggling with a top-five offense. The 2020 All-Pro Buckner believes he could be the Defensive Player of the Year. For that, he needs to shine in these matches. He’ll be right in the middle of it, trying to block the running lanes and put pressure on Bills QB Josh Allen from the inside.

BILLS PLAYER TO WATCH: RB Matt Breida. Active for only the third time this season, Breida provided a spark to the Bills’ jump run attack with three carries and a touchdown for 28 yards, three catches for 22 yards, and a TD while playing just eight snaps. I wonder if the off-season free agent addition gains more playing time over Devin Singletary and Zack Moss.

KEY MATCH: RB Jonathan Taylor vs. Bills D. Taylor has stepped up 100 yards from the scrimmage and scored a touchdown in each of his last seven games. This is the NFL’s third-longest winning streak after Lydell Mitchell and LaDainian Tomlinson with eight-game streaks. Taylor had a mere 84 yards on offense (78 rushing) in a playoff loss at Buffalo in January. Bono has held seven of the nine opponents running 80 yards this season.

SIGNIFICANT INJURY: The Colts’ three-time All-Pro LG Quenton Nelson and two-time All-Pro LB Darius Leonard briefly left last week’s game with ankle injuries. While Nelson was training on Wednesday, Leonard didn’t. Both are likely to play. The bigger question is whether CB Xavier Rhodes (calf) will be back after sitting against Jacksonville. It did limited business on Wednesday. … The bills that began after MLB Tremaine Edmunds missed last week’s game due to injury are uncertain. DT Star Lotulelei entered the COVID-19 list last Sunday, leaving her situation uncertain. Starting off, RT Spencer Brown was put on the COVID-19 list on Thursday. WR Cole Beasley’s practice and playing time has been limited in the past two weeks due to a nagging rib injury.

SERIES NOTES: Since capturing a six-game losing streak, the Bills have won four of six games, with each win coming from Orchard Park in New York. … The Colts have not won at Buffalo since a 17-14 win on November 23, 2003.

STATS AND MATERIALS: Colts coach Frank Reich served as a backup for Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly during Buffalo’s run to win four consecutive AFC titles in the early 1990s. He is best known for collecting the Bills from a 35-3 third-quarter deficit in a 41-38 overtime win against the Houston Oilers in an AFC wild card elimination match on January 3, 1993. It is simply known as ‘The Return’. The 32-point deficit remains the largest ever tackled by a team in NFL regular season and playoff history. … Indy won four-fifths for the first time this season, reaching .500. … Taylor needs 1 yard to take over the NFL’s quick lead ahead of injured Derrick Henry. … QB Carson Wentz has scored six multiple TD passes this season and tied for third place in the league. … Leonard needs 11 hands to reach 500 in his four-year career. He is in fifth place in the league with four points in 2021. … Indy is leading the league by points (77). Buffalo is second with 74. … Invoices, 2-5. He hasn’t won a game in a row since the four-game streak between weeks. … WR Stefon Diggs’ 162 yards against the Jets last week was the fifth most in his seven-year career and the most wins in 28 games with Buffalo, including playoffs. … Allen pushed his career record to 16-5 when attempting to pass 29 or less after passing 21 on 28 for 366 yards and two touchdowns with an interception against the Jets. … advanced to 17-16 on Allen turnovers (including playoffs). …all five members of Buffalo’s starting junior high did a takeaway against the Jets, including when security Micah Hyde forced it out and saved a misfit. … In six wins, the Bills forced 22 takeaways to convert 4 out of 12 fourth-down situations, including 14 interceptions, 15 sacking and limited opponents. In three defeats, the Bills have an interception and a forced fumble have four sacks, allowing opponents to transform three fourth-down states.

FANCY TIP: Don’t expect the Colts to defend Diggs with single-man coverage like the Jets did last weekend, which could lead Allen to spy on other targets like WR Emmanuel Sanders or TE Dawson Knox.

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