1 - Colts HC: Bills defense 'the best we've played this season'
Buffalo coach Sean McDermott often preaches the importance of "winning at the line of scrimmage." This Sunday, the Bills will likely find themselves in a war in the trenches.
The Week 7 matchup will see an incredibly feared pass rush attempt to overpower a stout offensive line. Getting consistent pressure on the quarterback is something that Buffalo has excelled at over the past number of weeks. The team took Texans' passer Deshaun Watson down seven times in Week 6.
The Colts' offensive line, however, has largely been able to keep quarterback Andrew Luck on his feet thus far. Indianapolis has allowed just 10 sacks through six weeks, an impressive stat considering that Luck has dropped back nearly 300 times this season.
Despite the strong play of his offensive line, Colts coach Frank Reich knows that containing Buffalo's pass rush will be a challenge on Sunday.
"No doubt there's going to be a lot of pressure on the quarterback," Reich said. "Their defense, really, really good defense. We've played some good defenses already, but this is probably the best defense we've played so far to date this season. I think it's because of their pass rush. They get pressure. They find ways to get pressure with four rushers and still play zone coverage behind it. When you can do that, that's a winning formula for a defense . . . That usually results in turnovers. They've done a great job of causing turnovers. I think that's their formula."
2 – Hyde and Johnson hoping for chances vs. Colts' pass-heavy attack
With an elite quarterback under center and a former NFL passer commanding the sideline, the fact that the Colts deploy a pass-heavy offense isn't at all surprising.
Indianapolis has heavily relied on the arm of Andrew Luck thus far this season. The Colts boast a league-high passing percentage of 71 percent, meaning they throw the ball more than two out of every three offensive plays. Luck currently leads in the NFL in passing attempts with 288, 24 attempts more than the second-place Joe Flacco.
Balanced is not a word that one could use to describe the Colts' offense. Though Buffalo knows that Indianapolis loves to throw the ball, rookie cornerback Taron Johnson does not feel as though this nugget of information will impact the team's Week 7 game plan.
"It's about the same," Johnson said. "It's a passing league in the NFL. I'm pretty much thinking that most teams are going to be majority passing regardless. I wouldn't say it's necessarily easier, I just know I'm going to be defending the pass a lot more than the run."
Buffalo safety Micah Hyde thinks that there are pros and cons that come with defending an offense that's focused on the pass.
"We know he throws the ball a lot," Hyde said. "That could be a good thing or a bad thing. If we're stopping it, it will be a good thing. Obviously, that means we're up and we were able to hopefully get some turnovers off him. But at the same time, if he's completing them and they're rolling, it could be a tough situation."
Forcing turnovers is something that the Bills' defense has focused on this season. Johnson looks at Indianapolis' passing attack as an opportunity.
"Definitely [exciting]," Johnson said. "I'm always looking for a chance to make as many plays as I can. Them throwing the ball is just more times I'm going to have those opportunities."
The Buffalo Bills will travel to Indianapolis Week 7 to take on the Colts. In anticipation of the matchup, we take a look at the opponents through the years.
3 - Adam Vinatieri picks Buffalo as worst place to kick
History may be made in Buffalo's Week 7 matchup with the Colts.
Indianapolis kicker Adam Vinatieri is just 10 points away from becoming the NFL's all-time leader in points. Fortunately for the veteran, this weekend's contest won't be played in Buffalo.
Having spent 10 seasons with the New England Patriots, Vinatieri is no stranger to inclement weather. However, throughout his 20-plus years in the league, Vinatieri has never been able to master the kicking conditions at New Era Field.
The 45-year-old recently told Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star that 'The Cap' is his least favorite stadium to kick in.
"The snow and the rain and the wind," Vinatieri said. "That's the norm there, not the exception."
The four-time Super Bowl champion has made just 52 percent of his field goal attempts in Buffalo (11-21).
Vinatieri recounted last year's Week 14 matchup between the Colts and Bills, a contest that was played in blizzard-like conditions. In the game's dying moments, Vinatieri hit a 43-yard extra point through the snow and wind to tie the game at seven. The kicker, however, missed a potential game-winning field goal from the same distance with six ticks remaining in regulation. Buffalo went on to win the game in overtime.
"I'd say the conditions there last year were even worse than (the infamous Tuck Rule game back in 2002)," Vinatieri said of the Patriots-Raiders AFC title game in New England. "I'm from South Dakota, and I've never played in a game with that much snow. We go out for pregame warmups and there's no snow at all, we came out 20 minutes later for the coin toss and there were two inches. We were getting three, four inches an hour. By the end of the game, there was four feet on the field."