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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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