Buffalo Bills vs Indianapolis Colts: Game preview, top players to watch

The Buffalo Bills kick off their preseason motion on Saturday evening towards the Indianapolis Colts, and whereas most of the starters gained’t be enjoying, there’s nonetheless so much to watch for when it comes to seeing how this potential Tremendous Bowl contender will form its roster. 

How to Watch:

  • Date: Saturday, Aug. 13
  • Time: 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Location: Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY
  • TV: NFL Community

We all know that Josh Allen gained’t play a single snap for the Bills on Saturday. It might really be shocking to see many Bills starters get a lot enjoying time towards the Colts. A lot of what we see on the sphere can be comparatively meaningless when it comes to its impression on the common season; nevertheless, there are nonetheless issues you possibly can be taught in regards to the Bills and their Tremendous Bowl probabilities if what to search for. 

Under is our information to the 5 keys to watch for on Saturday in the event you’re wanting to kind the information from the noise. 

 

What does Ken Dorsey’s Offense Look Like?

One key can be seeing how the offense appears underneath new offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey. Since Dorsey served because the quarterbacks’ coach underneath former coordinator Brian Daboll, there aren’t anticipated to be many modifications, however this would be the first time we see Dorsey’s offense in motion towards one other crew. 

Since Allen and most of the Buffalo Bills’ offensive starters gained’t see the sphere, we will’t decide Dorsey’s offense simply by yardage gained or factors scored, and so on. The first focus needs to be on what the offense appears like from a motion standpoint. 

The Buffalo Bills’ offense underneath Brian Daboll used a whole lot of pre-snap movement to confuse defenses and in addition to decide the precise kind of protection they have been seeing. The way in which a protection reacted to the movement allowed Josh Allen to decide if he wished to hold the play or transfer to audible. It labored for them prior to now, so will Dorsey preserve the identical degree of movement? Will he combine in gadget performs in the identical method Daboll did? These large image concepts can be a key to watch.  

 

Can Any Younger Cornerback Emerge as a Starter?

Earlier within the week, we lined the potential subject the Bills are going through at cornerback if All-Professional Tre’Davious White takes a couple of weeks to get again on the sphere following final yr’s ACL tear. Saturday evening would be the first time we see rookies Kaiir Elam and Christian Benford in recreation motion, which implies will probably be the primary time both younger participant can show themselves to Bills followers. 

Similar to with the Buffalo Bills, the Colts are unlikely to use key starters like Michael Pittman Jr for a lot of snaps, so Elam and Benford aren’t going to go up towards the most effective extensive receivers on the Colts’ roster. Which means the crew can be wanting to be sure that the rookies can grasp in protection and browse performs sufficient to know when to come up in run protection. 

Neither participant goes to outright win a beginning job reverse Dane Jackson with their effort on Saturday, nevertheless it might be a great begin. 

 

Can Isaiah Hodgins Power His Manner Onto the Roster?

The Buffalo Bills look like a lock to hold at the very least six extensive receivers with out even having to see them play within the preseason. Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis, Isaiah McKenzie, Jamison Crowder, and rookie Khalil Shakir are all doubtless going to see significant regular-season snaps this yr. Jake Kumerow additionally appears locked right into a roster spot given his particular groups significance to the crew. 

With Marquez Stevenson likely needing to be put on the IR, the crew is probably going now down to veteran Tavon Austin or third-year receiver Isaiah Hodgins. Hodgins was an intriguing expertise drafted out of Oregon State within the sixth spherical of the 2020 draft. He wound up lacking your entire 2020 season with a shoulder harm and was unable to crack the common receiving rotation final yr. 

In 2021, Hodgins confirmed flashes in coaching camp however wasn’t in a position to ship when recreation motion started. With him being simply 23 years outdated, the Bills would undoubtedly like him to clearly beat out Austin and drive his method onto the roster because the seventh receiver, however a crew with Tremendous Bowl aspirations isn’t going to drive a participant on the roster in the event that they don’t belong. Hodgins has had a stable coaching camp, however he wants to present nicely towards the Colts to show to the Buffalo Bills that they not solely want to hold seven receivers however that one in all them wants to be him. 

 

Is This the Finish of Cody Ford?

The previous second-round choose has been a favourite punching bag for a lot of members of Bills Mafia. When the Bills have been in a position to snag him within the 2nd spherical of the 2019 NFL Draft, many analysts viewed it as a steal. Nevertheless, regardless of these excessive expectations, Ford proved to be a bit too slow-footed to stick at proper deal with within the NFL. 

That was fantastic, many individuals seen his future to be inside at guard anyway. Nevertheless, Ford has shifted inside to guard over the previous couple of seasons and nonetheless failed to present the kind of consistency that the Bills are on the lookout for. The crew signed Rodger Saffold within the offseason and re-signed Ryan Bates, which implies the beginning guard positions are taken. That hurts Ford because the Buffalo Bills covet versatility from their backup lineman and Ford has confirmed he can solely play guard. 

The Bills may as a substitute select to hold Bobby Hart, who may play deal with, or Greg Mancz, who may play middle. If Ford can present the potential he has flashed over time, the Bills might determine to hold him or might even give you the chance to flip him in a commerce for a late-round draft choose given his earlier draft capital. Nevertheless, none of that occurs if Ford performs poorly towards the Colts. 

 

Which Matt Wins the Punter Battle?

Sure, we’re speaking about punters right here. Matt Haack was disappointing in his first yr because the Bills punter final yr, which is why the crew went out and drafted the “Punt God” Matt Araiza. Araiza has an enormous leg, however he has so much to study grasp time and accuracy. He additionally has no collegiate expertise as a holder on placekicks, which is essential if he have been to win the punting job.

The Buffalo Bills actually need the younger rookie to win the job, however, like with Isaiah Hodgins above, a crew with Tremendous Bowl aspirations gained’t hold a punter on the roster who isn’t prepared, no matter his draft value, given how necessary area place is within the NFL recreation. 

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Buffalo Bills guard Cody Ford (Wikipedia Commons)

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