NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 1 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 27, Indianapolis Colts 24

Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Raheem Blackshear (35) is congratulated by teammates for scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts during the second half at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills opened their 2022 preseason campaign with a 27-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts, their ninth consecutive preseason victory dating back to 2018.

Buffalo Bills

Quarterback

Player Comp/Att Yds Avg. Depth of Target TD/INT Rating
Case Keenum 11/18 89 6.2 0/2 34.0
Matt Barkley 18/24 224 8.0 0/1 86.1
  • It was a rough afternoon for Case Keenum, as he registered a pending 45.5 passing grade on 21 dropbacks.
  • Matt Barkley is set to earn a strong passing grade despite his interception, which was not a turnover-worthy play for him. Barkley’s three big-time throws will buoy that high mark.

Running Back

  • With Devin Singletary not in the lineup, veteran Duke Johnson Jr. and rookie Raheem Blackshear secured 12 of the 18 carries split between Buffalo’s four active running backs.
  • Two of Blackshear’s six carries resulted in touchdowns. The undrafted free agent out of Virginia Tech ended with just 11 yards but did force a missed tackle.
  • Second-round selection James Cook hit an in-game wall, too, mustering just 1.7 yards per carry on a limited three attempts.

Receivers

  • Third-year pro Isaiah Hodgins converted his 11 targets into nine catches for 77 yards, four first downs and a pending 81.3 receiving grade. 
  • Rookie Khalil Shakir went 5-for-5 on his targets, resulting in five first downs, 92 receiving yards and a receiving grade likely to fall only just short of Hodgins'.

Offensive Line

Pass-Blocking Snaps Sacks Hits Hurries Pressure Rate
45 1 0 10 24.4%
  • While the Bills' offensive line did not allow a single hit, the unit did surrender a sack and 10 quarterback hurries. The Colts' other sack was charged to the quarterback.
  • Sixth-year lineman Jordan Simmons was one of the few bright spots of the Bills' line. He registered a pending 86.8 pass-blocking grade on 26 pass-blocking snaps while staying clean in pass protection.

Defensive Line

  • Wake Forest standout Boogie Basham achieved a first-review 92.8 pass-rushing grade on just 10 pass-rushing snaps. The performance was headlined by his strip-sack of quarterback Nick Foles.
  • Undrafted free agent Kingsley Jonathan registered a game-high four pressures and a 22.2% win rate on 27 pass-rushing snaps.

Linebacker

  • Joe Giles-Harris tallied three run stops and a tackle for loss on 16 run-defense snaps.

Secondary

  • First-round selection Kaiir Elam was the Bills' most targeted defensive back throughout the afternoon, seeing four passes in his direction. The results were positive; he forced an incompletion and allowed two catches for just 20 yards.

Indianapolis Colts 

Quarterback 

  • Matt Ryan averaged only a 4.1-yard target depth on his 10 attempts and finished with 58 passing yards on six completions.
  • Former Texas standout Sam Ehlinger registered a team-best 74.7 passing grade, pending review, on 15 dropbacks. He completed all but one of his 11 pass attempts and averaged 8.0 yards per attempt alongside his two touchdown passes.

Running Back

  • Nyheim Hines and Phillip Lindsay each had an explosive run of 10-plus yards and accumulated a combined 27 rush yards before contact.
  • Ty'Son Williams averaged a woeful 1.7 yards per carry on his five attempts. He also forced a missed tackle.

Receivers

Player Targets Catches Explosive Plays Receiving Grade*
Michael Pittman Jr. 3 3 1 64.6
Alec Pierce 3 2 1 59.8

*Pending review

  • The flashes of potential were there for the Michael Pittman Jr./Alec Pierce duo in Indy’s passing game. Each registered an explosive play of 15-plus yards, and they combined to catch four of their combined six pass targets for 57 yards.
  • Tight ends Kylen Granson (88.4 receiving grade) and Jelani Woods (75.0 receiving grade) caught all of their combined five targets for three first downs (one of which was a touchdown grab by Woods) and an explosive pass play.

Offensive Line

  • Internet meme sensation Will Fries is set to earn the highest pass-blocking grade from the Colts’ offensive line on 25 pass-blocking snaps. Fries didn't allow any pressure on the day.
  • It was tough sledding for rookie left tackle Bernhard Raimann. The Central Michigan standout played a team-high 27 pass-blocking snaps but allowed a team-high four total pressures.

Defensive Line

  • Third-year edge rusher Kameron Cline beat his opponent a game-high three times without notching pressure in addition to tallying a hurry and one of the Colts’ two sacks for the game.
  • DeForest Buckner played just five pass-rushing snaps but recorded a 60% pass-rushing win percentage to accompany his team-high 91.0 pass-rushing grade, pending review.

Linebacker

  • Undrafted rookie James Skalski accumulated two tackles and a run stop to finish with a pending 73.7 run-defense grade. 

Secondary

  • Rookie safety Nick Cross had two assisted tackles and a run stop to complete a rather solid 72.3 run-defense grade on first review. 
  • Targeted three times, undrafted rookie Sterling Weatherford intercepted a pass and allowed just two catches for nine yards to cement a 90.1 coverage grade on first review.
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