It was very nice to see the effort the Bills came out and gave the fans in the stadium, and at home watching. The game meant nothing to both teams, and the Bills came out, and gave their fans a great game. The weather was classic Buffalo weather with heavy snow, cold temperatures, and wind playing a factor. The Bills won in blow out fashion as the Colts pulled all their starters in the second quarter to rest them for the playoffs. There are going to be a lot of questions as the offseason begins after this game, but for three hours, fans could enjoy a 30-7 Bills win.
The game started off with the Bills getting the ball, and they went a quick three and out with Ryan Fitzpatrick back under center. Then after the Colts took over with their first possession of the game, Peyton Manning threw an interception on third down to rookie Cary Harris. The Bills had great field position for their second drive of the game. Fred Jackson converted the first third down of the game for a 19 yard pickup. Then two plays later, Fitzpatrick found Jackson from a 11 yard touchdown strike to put the Bills up 7-0.
Unfortunately Peyton responded with quick short throws right down the field to set up a one yard Mike Hart touchdown run to tie the game. Peyton went 8 for 10 on this drive throwing quick passes to make things difficult for the Bills defense. The Bills could not do much offensively on the next drive and the Colts ensuing drive also stalled after Manning hit Dallas Clark for a 7 yard loss on third down. That would be Manning’s last drive, as Curtis Painter took over at for the Colts in the second quarter.
The Bills did not get the offense going until midway through the second quarter, as the snow was really coming down. They got great field position at midfield, and Jackson took the carry on first down and gained 12 yards and followed it up with a 17 yards run one play later. After Jackson was stopped for a no gain, Fitzpatrick hit Lee Evans for a 21 yard touchdown to put the Bills up 14-7. Buffalo's defense got the ball back quickly on the Colts next possession. Painter fumbled the ball away on the Colts 4th play of the drive. Chris Kelsay recovered the fumble, and put the Bills in good position. Fitzpatrick quickly found Terrell Owens for a 41 yard touchdown pass to put the Bills up 21-7.
The Bills defense made another big play when Harris got his second interception of the half on the Colts next drive. The interception help set up a 31 yard field goal by Ryan Lindell to give the Bills a 24-7 halftime lead. Jackson had a strong first half rushing the football. He was halfway to 200 yards rushing, and closing in on a 1,000 yard season.
The Bills forced a punt on the Colts opening possession of the second half. Jackson's running help set up a 33 yard Lindell field goal to make the score 27-7. Jackson had 6 carries on this drive for 44 yards. The Colts could not get much going on offense, as Painter was struggling throwing the football in the bad weather conditions. Jackson continued his strong running on the next drive rushing the ball 7 times for 57 yards, as he went over 200 yards rushing. Jackson’s running help set up a 36 yard Lindell field goal to make the score 30-7.
The only other main highlight of the 4th quarter was when Fitzpatrick found Owens for a 15 yard gain midway through the quarter. Owens reached a milestone in this game, and now was third all time in receiving yards behind Isaac Bruce. The final score was 30-7, and the fans were rewarded for braving the weather to watch the game.
The Bills finish the regular season 6-10, and are entering a very important off season for the team. There will be a lot of much needed changes coming at One Bills Drive since the team has not made the playoffs this decade. It will be interesting to see what new GM Buddy Nix decides to do this off season, and in what direction they will go regarding the coaching hire.
Positional Breakdown and Grades
Colts Game Preview