Scout’s Review: Bills Snow Job Of The Colts

by Greg Gabriel, Buffalo Sports Page NFL Expert

The Bills beat the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 13 – 7 in overtime yesterday at New Era Field. What did we learn about the Bills is the win? Not much!

No team can ever expect to play in those type of conditions. I would estimate that about 6 to 8 inches of snow fell during the game and it became not a football game, but survival of the fittest. With those conditions, game plans get thrown out. The run game becomes important and a team just hopes that it doesn’t make a mistake that could cost them the game.

Still there were some excellent performances. Bills running back LeSean McCoy proved to be the hero of the game scoring on a 21 yard run with just 1:33 left in overtime to win the game for the Bills. Had McCoy not gotten at least a first down the chances of the Bills kicking a 30+ yard field goal were minimal.

The Amazing Peterman

McCoy usually needs a dry field to play at his best yet in the snow he ran for 156 yards on 32 carries. Maybe we need more December snow games for him? Rookie Nate Peterman actually threw the ball well when asked, completing five of 10 throws for 57 yards and a touchdown before he left the game with a head injury. To be as accurate as he was under those conditions was nothing short of amazing.

The Colts started off by running the ball on just about every play and had some success but couldn’t get a real drive going. When they fell behind 7-0 they tried to throw more and quarterback Jacoby Brissett actually threw 22 passes with 11 completions for 69 total yards. Regardless, when either team tried to throw, it was an exercise in futility. That said, the catch made by Bills receiver Deonte Thompson to set up the winning touchdown run was nothing short of miraculous. Thompson had a Colt defender wrapped all over him but showed the concentration to reel in the throw.

Alive to End the Drought

What the win did was keep the Bills hopes for the playoffs alive. Their record is 7-6 on the season and they are tied with two other teams for the final Wild Card spot.  Both the Los Angeles Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens also have 7-6 records at this time. With the Chargers win over the Bills a few weeks ago they win the first tie breaker. Baltimore also is ahead of the Bills because of their better conference record. What this means is the Bills have to win out and hope for help in order to make the Playoffs.

Buffalo still has to play Miami both home and away as well as travel to New England. Baltimore has to play at Cleveland and then home against the Bengals and Cleveland. The Chargers have to play at Kansas City, at the Jets and finish out at home versus the Raiders. Like it or not, the Bills have the toughest road to travel and Baltimore seems to have the more favorable schedule.

Regardless of if the Bills make the playoffs or not, this team is vastly improved over last year’s team. The team is laying a solid foundation for the future and with the high number of draft choices they have for this upcoming draft the future looks bright.

For more from Greg Gabriel, visit his author’s section at Buffalo Sports Page.

 

Greg Gabriel

Gabriel has spent most of his adult life as an evaluator for various NFL clubs. He started his career in 1991 working for the Buffalo Bills as a part time scout under dormer Bills Director of Player Personnel Norm Pollom. He left the Bills in June 1984 to become the Great Lakes area scout for National Football Scouting. Following the 1984 season, Gabriel joined the New York Giants as their Midwest area scout and was promoted to Director of Player Development in 1996. The Giants went to three Super Bowls and won two during Gabriel’s time with the club.

Following the Giants appearance versus the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV, Greg became Director of College Scouting for the Chicago Bears under General Manager Jerry Angelo. He held that position until June of 2010. During his time with Chicago, the Bears won three Division titles and the 2006 NFC Championship. In his nine Drafts with the Bears, the team drafted 12 future Pro Bowl performers such perennial Pro Bowler Matt Forte, Tommie Harris, Devin Hester, Lance Briggs and Charles Tillman.

In the 2012 – 2013 season, Gabriel was a consultant for the Philadelphia Eagles Scouting Department and has since done some small scouting roles for various NFL clubs.

Since leaving the NFL Gabriel has been a contributor for the National Football Post, the Bleacher Report and more recently Pro Football Weekly. He also is both a writer and contributor for WSCR (670the Score) in Chicago. The last three years he has authored the Pro Football Weekly Draft Guide.
Gabriel grew up in Amherst and is a 1974 graduate of Canisius College where he was a member of the football team. He and his wife Robin currently resides in the Chicago area.

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