Top 3 Individual Matchups
Top 2 Bills Advantages
Good advantage – Run game – The Bills are seventh in the league in rushing averaging just over 140 yards per game. The Colts run defense has been below average this season ranking 22nd in the league. Over the last four games Indianapolis is surrendering 4.35 per carry to their opponents and they’ve given up the seventh-most run plays of 20 yards or more to their opponent on the year.
Best advantage – Punt return – Buffalo has been sitting atop the punt return rankings for almost the entire season.
Bills Number 1 Must
Contain Luck – While the Colts quarterback remains pretty consistent when under duress in terms of delivering the football and making plays, he likes to escape from the pocket and make plays on the move in the passing game.
Not a den of thieves
The Colts have found takeaways hard to come by this season. Indianapolis ranks last in the NFL in forcing turnovers with just six through 10 games. They have recorded a fumble recovery in each of the last two games, but they stand third worst in the league in turnover differential at minus-13. Not surprisingly, they’re also last in points scored off turnovers with just 16 this season.
Red zone defense hurting
Indianapolis has had trouble keeping opponents out of the end zone once they penetrate their 20-yard line. The Colts surrender touchdowns almost two-thirds of the time (63.6%) standing 27th in the league. Part of the problem is the aforementioned takeaway issues. Indy does not have a single takeaway in the red zone this season.
Big play offense
The offense has leaned heavily on a downfield passing game this season and for the most part Andrew Luck has delivered. Through 10 games the Colts lead the league in completions of 20 yards or more with 45, good for 4.5 per game. Despite this quick strike ability Indianapolis has also demonstrated the ability to hang onto the ball standing fifth in the league in time of possession at almost 32 minutes per game (31:51).
Making third and long look easy
The Colts big play ability has translated into a high success rate on third and longs to help them keep drives alive. Indianapolis ranks first in 3rd-and-long (seven yards or more) conversion percentage moving the sticks more than 41 percent of the time (41.2%). They’re also first in the league in 3rd-and-10 plus conversion percentage (38.2%), which is far ahead of the NFL average (21%).
Run down early
Indianapolis has had trouble defending the run overall giving up 4.7 per carry, but a big part of the problem stems from their struggles on first down. Opponents are averaging a fat 5.2 yards per carry against the Colts on first down. That ranks 30th in the NFL. It’s more than a half yard above the league average (4.42).
Wayne an inside guy
He does not line up exclusively inside, but Reggie Wayne is primarily a slot receiver now for the Colts after spending the 11 seasons of his career out on the perimeter. The move has provided Wayne with a renaissance season. The veteran receiver has already eclipsed his reception and receiving yardage totals of 2011. With 76 catches and 1,003 yards receiving through 10 games, Wayne stands second in the league in receiving yards per game with 100.3. Only Detroit’s Calvin Johnson averages more (114.3).
Quote of the Week
“We always talk about division games being two-for games and all that, but you can really put this in the same category just in terms of a team that’s ahead of us. We need to get a win and give them a loss. That would be a very big thing for us obviously.”
Stat of the Week
Milestones in reach
Ryan Fitzpatrick needs four touchdown passes to tie Jack Kempt for fourth-most in team history.
Leodis McKelvin needs one punt return touchdown to become the first Bill with four in his career and improve his franchise record for a single season to three.
Ryan Fitzpatrick had three touchdown passes, no interceptions and a 120.8 passer rating in his last game against the Colts (1/3/10).