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Other Week 14 Game Recaps

Week 14 Game Recap: Indianapolis Colts 7, Buffalo Bills 13

What you need to know

Indianapolis Colts

The Colts played the Bills in the middle of a blizzard. The field was covered in a thick layer of snow for the entirety of the game. Footing was a huge problem for players and coaches did not trust their kicking or passing games as a result of the elements. Adam Vinatieri missed a 33 yard field goal and a 43 yard field goal because of the field conditions. The Colts had more than twice as many rushing attempts as pass attempts. Jacoby Brissett attempted just two passes in the first half. Frank Gore saw 36 carries and produced a long run of 10 yards. The predictability of the Colts offense hurt them. All of the Colts options in the pass game saw limited opportunities because of the conditions. TY Hilton was not targeted deep downfield. Marlon Mack could have seen more usage especially in the passing game.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills game against the Indianapolis Colts was played during lake effect snow storm that was reported to have dumped nearly a foot of snow on the field. With inches of snow on the field, and snow falling the entire game, the game was difficult to draw conclusions, outside of the dramatic nature of the game. The game plan was limited by the field conditions and with limited visibility both viewing the game and passing was very difficult. Nathan Peterman started the game, and connected on two balls to Kelvin Benjamin, including one for a touchdown. Peterman was hit hard in the third quarter and left the game in the concussion protocol. He was replaced by Joe Webb, who led Buffalo's offense on a game winning drive in overtime. LeSean McCoy saw heavy volume and was spectacular, including a game winning run for a touchdown in overtime.

Indianapolis Colts

QB Jacoby Brissett, 71 offensive snaps, Pass: 11 - 22 - 69 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 10 - 0
The Colts first possession featured 11 rushing attempts and 0 pass attempts. 9 of those carries went to Frank Gore. The drive eventually stalled deep in Bills territory forcing a field goal attempt that Adam Vinatieri missed from 33 yards out. Jacoby Brissett attempted just two passes in the first half. The first was a check down to Marlon Mack and the second was a throwaway resulting in an intentional grounding penalty. Brissett overthrew Chester Rogers who was open for a potential 33 yard touchdown. Brissett redeemed himself by putting together a 9 minute touchdown drive with the game on the line. Brissett completed to Hilton 3 times, once to Gore, and once to Mack before hitting Jack Doyle for the game tying touchdown. Brissett successfully converted a 2 point attempt after the touchdown but the play was negated by penalty. Vinatieri had a chance to win the game with a 43 yard field goal but his kick was well off the mark. The Colts were unable to get anything going during their one possession in overtime.

RB Frank Gore, 54 offensive snaps, Rush: 36 - 130 - 0, Rec: 1 - 10 - 0 (1 targets)
Gore was everything the Colts could have asked for, a lead sled dog. He didn't have any big gains, but he moved the offense enough to give the Colts a chance to win on the road. He was battered and bruised at the end of this one because of 36 carries, so he might not have his usual burst next week against Denver.

RB Marlon Mack, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 7 - 23 - 0, Rec: 2 - 21 - 0 (3 targets)
Marlon Mack jumped over a defender at the line of scrimmage and burst into the open field for 20 yards on his first carry. Mack took a check down in the flat for an 11 yard gain showing off his speed in the snow. Mack caught another dump off in the flat and picked up 10 more yards.

WR Chester Rogers, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (4 targets)
Chester Rogers was targeted downfield on back to back plays. Brissett overthrew Rogers on a potential big play touchdown then Rogers dropped what would have been a diving catch.

WR T.Y. Hilton, 48 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 20 - 0 (4 targets)
TY Hilton made his first catch in the 4th quarter for a 10 yard gain. Hilton made a clutch catch a few plays later for 10 more yards and a key 4th down conversion. Hilton gained 9 yards running a comeback route but a penalty negated the catch. Hilton dropped a pass over the middle that was thrown well behind him despite getting two hands on the pass.

TE Jack Doyle, 71 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 4 - 1 (3 targets)
Jack Doyle caught his first target in the flat for a 1 yard gain. Doyle came open off play action in the flat and caught a 3 yard touchdown. Doyle then caught a successful 2 point conversion but the play was overturned upon review.

Buffalo Bills

QB Nathan Peterman, 40 offensive snaps, Pass: 5 - 10 - 57 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 4 - 10 - 0
Nathan Peterman started the game in place of an injured Tyrod Taylor. Peterman was limited by the weather during the game, but he made multiple throws to the perimeter to Kelvin Benjamin. The first was a 21-yard back shoulder throw that set Buffalo up in the red zone. On the next play, Peterman went back to the well and threw a back-shoulder fade to Benjamin for an 8-yard touchdown. Peterman left the game in the third quarter in the concussion protocol after a hard hit. He was replaced by Joe Webb.

QB Joe Webb, 28 offensive snaps, Pass: 2 - 6 - 35 - 0 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 27 - 0
Joe Webb came in the game in relief of Nathan Peterman when Peterman left in the concussion protocol. Before running a gadget play in the wild cat last, Webb had not thrown a pass since 2011. Webb was intercepted once on a throw behind Charles Clay, where Webb struggled with his footwork in the snow. The throw nearly cost Buffalo the game but Indianapolis missed a late field goal to force overtime. Webb did make a big throw in the deep perimeter to Deonte Thompson in overtime that set up LeSean McCoy's touchdown. Webb is the emergency third string quarterback with a special teams role, and will resume a backup role after Taylor or Peterman return healthy.

RB LeSean McCoy, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 32 - 156 - 1
LeSean McCoy shined on heavy volume in a game played close to the line of scrimmage because of the weather. McCoy was elusive and able to cut laterally despite the game being played in the equivalent of a snowbank. There was little disguising that Buffalo was going to run, and McCoy maintained heavy volume, and was able to capitalize with big runs. McCoy was able to gash the Colts defense on successive carries at the end of the first half for 23 and 25 yards to set up Buffalo's touchdown. The Buffalo offense struggled to create room on the ground in the second half with little threat to pass, but were able to mount a drive in overtime, where McCoy broke through a big interior hole for a game winning touchdown.

RB Mike Tolbert, 13 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 32 - 0
Mike Tolbert returned from injury and rotated with Travaris Cadet in backing up LeSean McCoy. Tolbert had a long carry of 25 yard, but fumbled on the play which was recovered by Indianapolis. Tolbert struggled to get anything going in the game where there was very tough terrain to run.

RB Travaris Cadet, 4 offensive snaps, Rush: 4 - 2 - 0
Travaris Cadet rotated with Mike Tolbert in backing up LeSean McCoy. Like Tolbert, Cadet found little room to run, and was not targeted in the passing game.

WR Kelvin Benjamin, 41 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 38 - 1 (8 targets)
Kelvin Benjamin was the bright spot in a passing offense that was largely grounded by the conditions. Benjamin caught two back shoulder throws from Nathan Peterman in the first half. The first was a 21 yard throw that Benjamin was able to get his feet inbounds along the sideline. The second was on the next play on a fade pass that Benjamin caught for a touchdown. Benjamin was shaken up during the second half with a knee injury, which was the same knee that caused him to miss the past two weeks. He was able to return for one play, but left the game hobbling after that play. Benjamin has shown a good rapport with Nathan Peterman in the limited time they have played together.

WR Deonte Thompson, 57 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 34 - 0 (1 targets)
Deonte Thompson was limited to one target on the day, but he made it count. Buffalo was driving at the end of overtime, when Joe Webb threw deep to Thompson down the right perimeter. Thompson was interfered with on the play, but was able to make a remarkable catch while falling to the ground. The catch set up LeSean McCoy's game winning run.

WR Zay Jones, 41 offensive snaps
Zay Jones was not targeted in the game. The Buffalo offense was limited by the weather, and only targeted four players on the day.

TE Charles Clay, 58 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 11 - 0 (5 targets)
Charles Clay was limited in the game to only two catches for 11 yards. The passing conditions were brutal in the game and Joe Webb played in relief of Nathan Peterman, which capped the Buffalo passing offense. Clay was targeted on Webb's interception, but the interception was on Webb as the ball was well behind Clay on the route.