News & Analysis

PFF ReFocused, NFL Preseason Week 1: Buffalo Bills 24, Indianapolis Colts 16

By PFF Analysis Team
Aug 9, 2019
Buffalo Bills Indianapolis Colts

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Buffalo Bills veteran signal-caller Matt Barkley shined bright in the team’s debut, completing 9-of-14 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown en route to a 24-16 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

PFF’s ReFocused series features immediate takeaways from the two analysts who graded the game live. The two offer a detailed breakdown of the game’s most notable performances before the grades and advanced stats are reviewed and finalized by Senior Analysts.

All of PFF’s grades and advanced stats from this game and the other games played this week will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle. ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

Final Score

Buffalo Bills 24, Indianapolis Colts 16

Buffalo Bills

Devin Singletary burst onto the scene with a very solid first performance in a Bills uniform. He rushed nine times for 27 yards, breaking multiple tackle attempts from Colts defenders along the way, and he also showed his skills in the passing game with 21 yards on three receptions. Singletary made a strong case to become one of the Bills’ top backs in his first preseason game.

Darryl Johnson caused a lot of problems for the Colts’ offensive line Thursday evening, especially as a third-down pass rusher. His pressures were an intricate part of the Colts’ first-half offensive struggles, including a stretch where he pressured the quarterback on three straight third-down attempts.

Indianapolis Colts

Grover Stewart was very disruptive in the middle of the Colts’ defensive line tonight, getting consistent penetration in the run game and also providing some pass-rush from the defensive tackle position. Stewart was a raw prospect coming out of a small college, but it looks like he’s been developing well entering his third NFL season.

Daurice Fountain was one of the lone bright spots for the Colts’ offense. He secured the majority of his catches in the fourth quarter, including an impressive grab over Buffalo defensive back Denzel Rice along the boundary. Fountain was especially effective on sideline hitch routes, working against the soft cover 3 shell when the Bills aimed to protect their fourth-quarter lead.

Buffalo Bills

Cody Ford had a difficult night in his first game as a pro. The rookie struggled in both the run and the pass game. Ford’s struggles could be explained by attempting to play multiple positions along the offensive line tonight, which must be incredibly tough for a rookie learning a new offense. Ford should improve on this performance as he becomes more comfortable in the system.

Denzel Rice allowed two first-down receptions late in the cost, allowing the Colts’ offense to gain some momentum down the stretch. 

Indianapolis Colts

Nate Hairston struggled in coverage tonight, as he was responsible for allowing the first touchdown of the night on a Barkley scramble drill. Granted, it took a very nice throw-and-catch from Barkley to Cam Phillips to make the play, but Hairston still should’ve been more aware in his zone.

Mo Alie-Cox struggled with run blocking in the Colts’ preseason opener, surrendering several tackles for loss early in the game. He was tasked with trying to slow the Bills’ effective edge defenders, something he will look to improve upon as the preseason continues.

[Editor’s Note: All of PFF’s player grades and advanced statistics are finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers before 5pm ET on the Monday following each weekend’s slate of games during the season. Sign up today to gain access!]

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