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Against the Indianapolis Colts, the Buffalo Bills most take advantage of three mismatches

The Buffalo Bills must exploit mismatches against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 1.

When the Buffalo Bills face off with the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Buffalo will need to exploit Indianapolis’ weaknesses. The Colts have outstanding talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball, but there are three mismatches that heavily favor the Bills on Sunday. If the Bills want to win in their season (and home) debut, these are the matchups that Buffalo has to win:

Bills defensive line vs. Colts offensive line

Buffalo will be without Marcell Dareus on Sunday, but Buffalo’s defensive line is still significantly better than the unit they’ll be facing off against. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo is the only reliable starter on Indianapolis’ line. Besides Castonzo, the Colts OL will feature Lance Louis, Khaled Holmes, Todd Herremans and Jack Mewhort. Yikes. Left guard is probably their weakest spot but Herremans hasn’t been great at right guard and Mewhort mainly played guard as a rookie.

Mewhort’s first assignment at right tackle this season will be Mario Williams. Mewhort won’t see a tougher assignment all year and he could be in for a rude awakening in Week 1. Kyle Williams and Corbin Bryant could also have the chance to blowup plays based on the interior of Indianapolis’ line. And while Castonzo is the best of the unit, he’ll still have a nightmare matchup against Jerry Hughes.

Buffalo’s defensive line should be able to pressure Andrew Luck throughout the game because of this matchup. Making Luck uncomfortable in the pocket will go a long way towards Buffalo winning their debut at home.

Charles Clay vs. anyone the Colts line up against him

If you watched the Patriots against the Steelers, you saw firsthand how tight ends can take over a game. Against the Colts, Greg Roman will look to utilize Charles Clay against the Colts defense. Don’t be surprised to see Clay get lined up in the slot, as a receiver and even in the backfield in Week 1. Roman and the Bills will move Clay around on the field to find advantageous matchups for the tight end. If he finds himself lined up against linebackers and safeties, Clay could have a field day on Sunday. Linebackers won't be able to keep up with the tight end and safeties will also struggle to cover and tackle one of Buffalo's newest offensive weapons.

Don’t be surprised if the tight end finishes the game as Buffalo’s leading receiver.

Robert Woods/Percy Harvin vs. Darius Butler

The Colts are a bit banged up at cornerback. Greg Toler, the team’s second cornerback, is unlikely to play (neck) and D'Joun Smith (knee) and Sheldon Price (concussion) are also dealing with injuries. That means Butler will most likely see significant snaps on the field on Sunday. The cornerback will have to deal with Woods and Harvin. The latter has been dealing with a hip injury but he’s expected to be a full go on Sunday. As for Woods, he’s very underappreciated around the league. The receiver will catch just about anything thrown his way and he finds ways to create separation and get open often. Woods and Harvin play with different styles, but both could have quite a bit of success against Butler.

Woods, Harvin and Clay will all see favorable matchups on Sunday, but their success will depend upon the play of Tyrod Taylor in his starting debut. If the quarterback plays like he did in the preseason, all three players could be in for big games.


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