Colts vs. Bills – Game Summary – August 13, 2022

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Matt Ryan can finally put the Falcons behind him.

Whether he was seeing his name on the back of the Colts’ No. 2 jersey hanging in his locker or completing his first attempt — a 6-yard strike to tight end Kylen Granson — the 37-year-old defensive end felt like his the move to Indianapolis is ready.

“I’m a part of this team and there’s 30-40 other guys who played with the Colts for the first time today,” Ryan said after Saturday’s 27-24 season-opening loss to the Buffalo Bills. “We all got it under our belt for the first time. And I think all of us, this whole group of new guys that are here, will feel a lot better next week.”

The Colts may feel more comfortable after Ryan’s debut, which reflected many of his passing attempts: relatively short and efficient.

With Von Miller and the rest of the Bills starting defense sitting out, Ryan completed 6 of 10 for 58 yards, with two of his completions coming on fourth down. More importantly, the 15-year veteran didn’t commit a turnover, showing agility in the pocket to elude a defender and hit Michael Pittman with a step on a crossing route to complete the 17-yard touchdown.

“It seemed to me that he was staying in his pocket. I thought it looked neat. I thought every shot was pretty much where it was supposed to be,” coach Frank Reich said. “I expected him to do it, and of course he did.”

Tyler Bass made a 46-yard field goal as Buffalo scored on three straight possessions in the final 8:10 to claw back a 14-point deficit. Matt Barkley oversaw the comeback, finishing 18 of 24 for 224 yards, and Raheem Blackshear rushed for touchdowns of 1 and 3 yards in a 4:19 span to tie the game.

Buffalo has won its ninth straight preseason game, the second-longest active streak in the NFL behind the Baltimore Ravens, who have won a league-record 21 straight.

Trainer Sean McDermott took a good win — a come-from-behind win — with a bad one in a walk.

“It was good to see us come together as a team a little bit and play some better complementary football in the second half,” McDermott said. “It is obvious that there cannot be losses and penalties in the first half.”

Buffalo also rested Josh Allen and its starting offense, with the struggles falling to backup Case Keenam, who threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

Keenum’s performance was a disappointment for the player the Bills are counting on to be Allen’s backup after acquiring the 10-year veteran in a trade with Cleveland. He finished 11 of 18 for 86 yards, and his second interception came one game after Bills safety Jaquan Johnson picked off Foles to give Buffalo the ball at the Colts 15.

“It was out of character for me to go out and do that. I take full responsibility for all of this,” Keenam said. “Every time we don’t score a touchdown when we have the ball in our hands, it makes me angry. So there are many things I need to improve.

Under Keenum, the Bills were held to just 119 net yards and five first downs in the first half, with Buffalo’s only score rookie linebacker Terrell Bernard returns a Nick Foles punt 69 yards for a touchdown.

Foles, who also had an interception, completed 7 of 11 for 72 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to uncovered running back Ty’Sean Williams.

Sam Ehlinger, the Colts’ sixth-round pick out of Texas last year, finished 10 of 11 for 88 yards with touchdown passes to tight ends Jelani Woods and Michael Jacobson.

Ryan is on pace to become the Colts’ fourth different opening day player in as many years after Andrew Luck retired. He led the team after Indianapolis parted ways with Carson Wentz, who took the blame for the Colts losing their last two games, including a season-ending loss at Jacksonville 26-11.

Reich gave Ryan the start of the preseason in part to give the player an extra chance to pitch before the Sept. 11 home opener in Houston. Reich also remembers how the Colts got off to a slow start last season. 4 under Wentz.

THE NEWLY MARRIED AGAINST THE NEWLY MARRIED

Bills first-round draft pick CB Kaiir Elam got the better of Colts second-round draft pick WR Alec Pierce, forcing Indianapolis to go three-and-out on its first possession. Elam stayed close to Pierce on a slant route and got a hand on Ryan’s third-and-three attempt at the Colts 12.

INJURIES

Colts: CB Isaiah Rogers, who had an interception and fumble recovery, did not return from a head injury in the first half. … WR Keke Coutee did not return with a groin injury.

Scores: Elam returned from being examined for a head injury late in the second quarter.

FURTHER

Colts: Host the Detroit Lions on August 20.

Bills: Host the Denver Broncos on August 20.

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