The Buffalo Bills offense came to life in the second half, ending with a last-second victory over the Indianapolis Colts 27-24. Buffalo extends its preseason win streak to nine games.
Buffalo kept all of their starters on the sidelines for the game, giving several reserves a chance in the spotlight. With most of the Bills roster seemingly in order, it was a game in which several depth players were battling for a depth roster spot.
The Bills second-string defense performed well on the afternoon, forcing two turnovers in the first half and putting up the first points of the season for Buffalo. Boogie Basham sacked Indianapolis quarterback Nick Foles, forcing a turnover. Third-round pick Terrel Bernard scooped up the fumble and rumbled 69 yards to the end zone, giving the Bills a 7-3 lead.
.@TerrelBernard_2 goes 69 yards to the house!
— Buffalo Bills (@BuffaloBills) August 13, 2022
Jaquan Johnson also recorded an interception in the first half. Baylon Specter registered 10 tackles to lead both teams on the day. Andre Smith, Prince Emili, and Daniel Joseph also provide sacks.
Overall, Buffalo’s second-string defense held Indianapolis to only a field goal. Colts starting quarterback Matt Ryan went 6-of-10 for 58 passing yards. It was a solid showing for the unit, as they enter the year seemingly in regular season form
The rookie cornerback duo of Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford kept the Colts receivers under wraps as well. Both players recorded two tackles and a pass defensed. In addition, both rookies limited Indianapolis receivers’ yards after catch.
Buffalo’s offense, for its part, sputtered throughout the first half. Case Keenum struggled to gain any short of rhythm, throwing two interceptions, including a very poor interception in the red zone. He also lost a fumble on. a sack. All told, Keenum ended the day 11-of-18 for 86 passing yards.
While the offense had its issues in the first half, there were multiple players who stepped up and made their presence known. On only three carries, Zack Moss gained 37 yards, including a 27-yard rush in which he bounced out wide and found space. Rookie Khalil Shakir caught five passes for 92 yards.
The Bills offense found its pulse in the second half under Matt Barkley. Barkley led the Bills on both of their offensive scoring drives and helped set up the game-winning field goal Tyler Bass. Barkley ended up 18-of-24 for 224 passing yards in one half of work.
Wide receiver Isaiah Hodges and running back Raheem Blackshear flahsed in the second half, helping lead the charge back for the victory. Hodges had a game-high nine receptions for 77 receiving yards. Blackshear, meanwhile, caught four passes for 60 yards out of the backfield. He also plowed into the end zone for the game-tying score.
The release and the catch 😳@IsaiahHodgins is showing off 🔥
— NFL (@NFL) August 13, 2022
The end results sweetened the game after a sour first half. The Bills defense largely was solid in the game, while the offense found its footing in the second half. Still, there are some concerns that will be addressed moving forward.
The Buffalo offense committed five turnovers, with Keenum under center for four of the turnovers. Jamison Crowder had a ball bounce off his hands and turn into a Colts interception. The Bills committed 11 penalties during the game. The deep depth defensive linemen struggled to get pressure in the second half of the game.
Still, there was a lot of promising play from many players, making the depth decisions much more intriguing as the preseason progresses.
Buffalo takes on Denver on Saturday, August 20 at 1 p.m. at Highmark Stadium.
— NFL (@NFL) August 13, 2022
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