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Scouting Report - Week 14 - Bills-Colts


Top 3 Individual Matchups
1 – E.J. Gaines vs. T.Y. Hilton
The battle of the men with the initials for first names. Hilton can still take the top off a defense at any moment, but Gaines has been solid in coverage since he returned to the lineup from injury.

2 - Micah Hyde vs. Jack DoyleThe Bills safety is likely to draw the Colts leading receiver as his main coverage assignment. Doyle isn't quite as athletic as Kansas City's Travis Kelce, or as physically dominant as Rob Gronkowski, but he gets the job done underneath.

3 - Jordan Mills vs. Jabaal SheardSheard is the lone pass rusher who wreaks consistent havoc on opposing passing games. He'll flip back and forth between the left and right side of the formation, but more often than not they line him up against the opponent's right tackle.

Relive memorable Bills versus Colts games throughout the years.

Bills Top 2 Advantages
Good advantage – Punt coverage
Buffalo's punt coverage unit is peaking of late. Colton Schmidt's directional kicking has been on point and the Colts have the worst punt return unit in football. It should help the Bills in keeping a field position edge in the game.

Best advantage – Red zone defenseA Bills defense that was ranked in the top 10 in the red zone most of the season has fallen off of late, but against the league's worst red zone offense they should have a good deal of success. The Colts have scored touchdowns on just over 36 percent of their opportunities this season, and they have the sixth-fewest red zone possessions in the league (30).

Bills Number 1 Must
Finish drives
Buffalo's offense has to finish possessions with touchdowns. Against a defense that has given up more points than any other in football there's no excuse for not finding the end zone with regularity.

Scouting Eye
Green corners
The Colts defensive backfield is short on experience at cornerback. They cut veteran Vontae Davis last month after he decided to get season-ending groin surgery and then his replacement Pierre Desir suffered a season-ending shoulder injury last week. Indy's other starting CB Rashaan Melvin is week-to-week with a hand injury. That leaves the Colts with five healthy cornerbacks. Rookies Nate Hairston, Kenny Moore and Quincy Wilson and second-year players Chris Milton and D.J. White. The five players have a combined four games of NFL experience.

Problems in protectionBuffalo's pass rush looked revived last week against the Patriots logging three sacks. That stands a good chance of continuing this week against the Colts. No offense in football has surrendered more sacks than Indianapolis this season. They've given up 51 sacks in 12 games. ProFootballFocus ranks the Colts 30th in the league with their pass blocking efficiency metric. One of the weak links appears to be left guard Jeremy Vujnovich, who has surrendered six sacks, two quarterback hits and 26 quarterback hurries so far this season.

Run defense much improvedIf there's one thing that the Colts have done well this season it's stop the run. They've held each of their last five opponents to under 100 yards rushing as a team. Cincinnati, Houston, Pittsburgh, Tennessee and Jacksonville all failed to reach the century mark on the ground against the league's 13th ranked run defense. Those five teams collectively averaged just 3.37 yards per carry, with just 14 of the combined 127 carries going for 10 yards or more.

No need to hurryWhoever is playing quarterback for the Bills on Sunday, they should have time to throw on most passing downs. The Colts have had trouble generating consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks this season. They rank 30th in the league in sack percentage (4.8%) and are tied with Buffalo for 30th in the league with 20 sacks through their first 12 games.

Even when Indianapolis blitzes they struggle to force negative plays or incompletions. When they blitz opposing quarterbacks have a passer rating of 113.5, second-highest in the NFL.

Going deepThe Colts might not be the most prolific big-play passing team in the league, but they are capable of delivering the home-run ball. That's due in large part to Jacoby Brissett and T.Y. Hilton. Brissett has a passer rating of 119.6 on pass attempts of over 20 yards this season, good for fourth in the NFL. Meanwhile Hilton is tied for second in the league with 11 receptions of 25 yards or more including last week's 40-yard touchdown against Jacksonville.

Buffalo Chips
Quote of the week
"Every team has a chance. It's why you play the game. We can't lose this game. Our mindset is we can't lose this game, we've got to win. We've just got to play together as a team and get a win."
--RB LeSean McCoy

Stat of the weekThe Bills are 5-0 this season when LeSean McCoy gets 20 carries or more.

Milestones in reachKelvin Benjamin needs 14 receiving yards for 2,500 in his career.

Jerry Hughes needs one sack for 40 in his career.

LeSean McCoy needs 35 yards from scrimmage to become the first Bills player since Travis Henry to record 4,000 yards from scrimmage in three seasons.

Final NoteLeSean McCoy averages 97.3 yards per game with a rushing touchdown in each of his last three games against the Colts.

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