Buffalo Bills (0-0) vs Indianapolis Colts (0-0)
Game Info: Saturday, August 12, 2023 at 1:00 pm (Highmark Stadium)
Betting Odds: Buffalo Bills +2.5 -- Over/Under: 38.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds
The Buffalo Bills will host the Indianapolis Colts for their preseason opener this Saturday from Highmark Stadium.
Colts Preseason Preview
Indianapolis regressed last year after a dysfunctional season, finishing at 4-12 after going 9-8 in 2021, but help is on the way with new leadership and a franchise quarterback in place. Anthony Richardson, Gardner Minshew and Sam Ehlinger will handle the work behind center. Richardson will get the start, and that’s a great sign for the number four overall pick. How much the former Florida QB plays is uncertain, but he should experience success with first-year head coach Shane Steichen, who called plays for the Eagles during their SB run last season. Minshew came over with him from Philly, and he’s been one of best QB2 during his time in the league. Ehlinger got some experience with Indy last season, passing for 573 yards through four games with three touchdowns to three interceptions.
Skill position players to watch are Evan Hull, Josh Downs and Jelani Woods. Hull, a former Northwestern back, fits the mold of Jonathan Taylor, from a two-way standpoint, as he can run between the tackles and catch passes effectively out of the backfield. Downs, a former UNC wideout, thrived in Mack Brown direction and completed his time in Chapel Hill with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons. The Colts receiver room is wide open behind Michael Pittman Jr., so he may have a real role sooner rather than later. Woods, a former UVA tight end, might just be able to fix the Colts tight end problem, and he’ll likely platoon with fellow VA tight end Mo Alie-Cox early on this season.
Bills Preseason Preview
The Buffalo Bills put together another strong season in 2022, going 13-3 and winning the AFC East for the third straight year, but it was clouded by another early exit from the postseason. Longtime Bills fans are way too familiar with finishing this close, and while it’s not as painful as dropping four straight Super Bowls, it provides a similar vibe that they’ll look to move past here in 2023. Kyle Allen and Matt Barkley will duke it out for the QB2 role. Allen spent last season in Houston where he played college ball, where he made a pair of starts for a struggling team, but did himself well by remaining imminent to land a potential role with the Bills. Barkley returned to Buffalo last year, but he hasn’t taken a regular season snap since 2020.
Skill position players to watch are Latavius Murray, Trent Sherfield, and Dalton Kincaid. Murray, one of the few successful journeymen backs in the league, will attempt to find a role for his fourth team in four seasons. Murray has managed to carve out useful roles for the Saints, Ravens, and Broncos, after spending the stronger part of his career with the Raiders and Vikings, and he’s got a great chance to do the same with the Bills. With newcomer Damien Harris hurt per usual, and James Cook being a first-year starter, short yardage snaps may be available for Murray swiftly. Sherfield, a former special teams ace, broke through with career-highs in receptions (30) and receiving yards (417) with division foe Miami, and he’ll have a shot at a slot role with Isaiah McKenzie joining Indianapolis. Kincaid is a real wildcard and a threat to Dawson Knox's TE1 role. The former Utah stud looked really smooth in Kyle Whittingham’s two-tight end set last season, and after flashing already in camp, he will see his fair share of snaps early on.
Corey’s Free Pick
Considering this will be Shane Steichen’s first contest as the lead man, I like the position the hosts come into. The Bills are a well-ran org, and while Indy may hold an advantage at QB spot with their guys, the Bills will be in their backyard, and that’s worth the postseason flier. Murray and Kincaid have real shots to carve out early roles for Doug McDermott’s team, and with a clear QB2 battle in the Bills QB room, look for them to play with their jobs on the line. Richardson’s clearly the future and potentially the now, while Minshew has a backup/starter role secured. Let’s spot Buffalo the points here at home.