Many ‘experts’ feel that the Indianapolis Colts will take the next step to the Super Bowl this season, and Sunday they have an interesting first test, a matchup in Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium with the Buffalo Bills and new coach Rex Ryan.
Ryan, who came to the Bills this last offseason after being fired from the Jets, is talking a big game, more so since the Bills haven’t been to the playoffs in 15 seasons.
“I’m not going to let our fans down,” he said. “I know it’s been 15 years. Well, get ready. We’re going.”
Buffalo did make strides in 2014, going 9-7, and things seem to be heading up for the franchise once led by Hall of Famer Jim Kelly.
”That’s the expectation in here, upstairs and in town,” defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. ”When we go out on Sunday, we’re not just going out there to compete, we’re going out there to win.”
Buffalo going to the playoffs will be easier said than done.
They start their new look franchise against one of the NFL’s best in Indy QB Andrew Luck, who last season threw for a league-high 40 touchdowns and broke Peyton Manning’s single-season team record with 4,761 passing yards in directing the third-ranked offense in the NFL.
It will be up to Ryan to direct a defensive gameplan to slow down Luck, as well as stop new Colts WR Andre Johnson, who comes over after being let go by the Texans.
Frank Gore (1,106 rushing yards, four touchdowns with San Francisco), is expected to be the featured back in the Colts offense, and is playing with a chip after leaving the Niners.
T.Y Hilton, signed to a five-year, $65 million extension last month, is expected to play despite sustaining a concussion in the third preseason game, another monster threat for the Colts.
The Bills offense will be led by their ground game, and that starts with offseason acquisition LeSean McCoy (1,319 rushing yards, five touchdowns with Philadelphia in 2014).
He claims he’s “ready to go” after he missed nearly all of the preseason with a strained left hamstring. The 2013 NFL rushing champion will be counted on to ease the burden on Tyrod Taylor in the quarterback’s first career start.
Taylor has to avoid the big mistakes in his first start, and while Ryan will keep it close, the Colts are just too good and could be headed to Super Bowl 50.
Indianapolis 21 Buffalo 17
Indianapolis – Andrew Luck 255 yards 1 TD, Frank Gore 92 yards rushing 1 TD, T.Y Hilton 80 yards receiving 1 TD
Buffalo – Tyrod Taylor 155 yards 1 TD, LeSean McCoy 78 yards
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