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Random Thoughts on the Colts-Bills Game

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Stampede Blue’s Andrew Aziz gives his thoughts on the Colts victory over the Buffalo Bills

Indianapolis Colts v Buffalo Bills Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Now that the first game is (finally) done, and now that I’ve had a chance to look over the tape, here’s what I came away thinking:

  • Winning a road game in wet, bad weather will help the confidence of the entire team. These type of wins, whether it’s in the regular season or the preseason, helps a team’s morale.
  • Not playing Andrew Luck and some other key starters Saturday was smart. There’s no need to work these guys on the road, in bad conditions. How it was handled is another story...
  • Scott Tolzien looked very bad Saturday. He’ll get a pass because of poor throwing conditions and little time to throw in the pocket, but he definitely needs to have a better showing in the next game.
  • Tolzien’s footwork is weak and he’s got happy feet in the pocket. He doesn’t set himself properly and his base isn’t sturdy enough.
  • Colts could not get anything going on the ground. That’s something to keep an eye on moving forward.
  • I really hope Robert Turbin isn’t the fullback in the I formation during the season.
  • Turbin also reminded us how NOT to block in the backfield.
  • It was interesting to see Josh Ferguson get a lot of reps. I’ve been hearing a lot of good things and him getting big reps early on seems to back up those rumblings.
  • It took me a few plays to realize (and remember) that #80 was not Coby Fleener.
  • Ryan Kelly was up and down Saturday. His hand placement was off on a few plays and he was off balance on a few plays as well. Here’s an example of poor hand placement and being off balance:
  • As many predicted, Le’Raven Clark’s footwork and his lower body power is not good and he needs to develop... a lot.
  • I would’ve liked to have seen Tevaun Smith play better. No fringe player stepped up to become the favorite to take the #4 receiver spot.
  • Emil Igwenagu (#44) messed up on the blocked punt and he’s clearly not fit to hold that spot on the punt team. I don’t expect to see him in that spot in future games.
  • Igwenagu also whiffed badly on the free kick (which was a punt) after the safety.
  • Defensive line for the Colts did a very good job throughout the game (all groups). T.Y. McGill was probably their best defensive player.
  • Run defense wasn’t strong as there were too many missed tackles in the box.
  • The backup edge defenders/rushers have stiff hips and are slow to get off the line.
  • Rough game for Darius Butler, from being out of place on the Woods completion to getting beat badly on the Gragg touchdown.
  • The Colts defensive backfield did not look good versus deep passes.
  • Bills Thought: Cardale Jones looked better than E.J. Manuel (and Manuel played well) and I wouldn’t be surprised if Cardale takes that backup job by the end of the preseason.