(Timothy Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports)

The Buffalo Bills had some outstanding play and some disappointing play on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

A look at the good and the bad from Buffalo's Week 1 victory over Indianapolis.

The Buffalo Bills started off the season with a big 27-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Rex Ryan era certainly got off to a strong start with a victory over a team that some NFL analysts have predicted to win this year's Super Bowl. The Bills outplayed the Colts in all three phases of the game and there was plenty to be happy about following the win. That said, here's a look at the good and a look at things that need improvement.

4 Up

Percy Harvin

Harvin dealt with a hip injury for the majority of training camp and the preseason. While Bills fans knew that Harvin would play, no one knew how well Harvin would move on the field. Due to missing time with his hip, Harvin didn’t have much time to build rapport with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Harvin was a wildcard in the truest sense entering the game.

Following the game, it’s pretty clear that Harvin could be a significant contributor for the Bills in 2015. His biggest play of the day was his 51-yard touchdown pass, but Harvin also showed improved route running in the short-to-intermediate range. He finished the game as Buffalo’s leading receiver after catching five passes for 79 yards and also added a nine yard carry for the Bills.

Karlos Williams

Williams doesn’t dance around in the backfield. The running back will follow his blockers and hit the hole hard when given the chance. On Sunday, Williams showed terrific burst and vision when he finished the game with a YPC average of 9.2. He finished the game with 55 yards and a touchdown on six carries. The best part of Williams’ day was that his first NFL carry went for a touchdown, just like his first carry at Florida State.

https://twitter.com/BuffaloBillsPR/status/643181252858761216

Colton Schmidt

I know what you’re thinking. A punter?! Yes, a punter is a person too and on Sunday, Schmidt did a terrific job of flipping the field on the Colts. Late, in the game, the Bills were holding onto their 13 point lead and needed good punts from Schmidt. He didn’t disappoint. His five punts went for an average of 50.4 yards, his longest punt of the day was a booming 63 yarder, and two of his five punts were inside of the 20 yard line.

Schmidt’s punting on Sunday won’t get much praise after all of the positive play by skill players, but he deserves to be recognized.

Buffalo Bills organization

The players, the coaches, the front office, and the ownership all deserve praise for Sunday’s game. Buffalo’s players were clearly ready to go on the field. The defense shut down the Colts run game and made Andrew Luck nervous in the pocket. The defensive backs smothered receivers early and often and Ronald Darby and Aaron Williams both recorded interceptions in the first game of the year. Tyrod Taylor and the offense put up 27 points in the opening game of the year and the special teams play was strong across the board.

The coaching staff clearly had the roster ready. Rex Ryan, Dennis Thurman and Greg Roman all deserve praise for their opening week game plan. Through one week, the front office looks smart for quite a few of their free agent signings and draft picks as well.

Last, Terry and Kim Pegula deserve some recognition. They played a big part in creating a statue of the team’s previous owner, Ralph Wilson, and recognized the 1964 and 1965 AFL Championship teams. Last, there’s no doubt that the Pegulas played a big role in getting Lou Saban added to the Wall of Fame. The best part of adding Saban to the W.O.F. was that it was a surprise to Saban’s family.

4 Down

Buffalo Bills offensive line

Buffalo was able to rush for 4.1 yards per carry, but the offensive line was very inconsistent for the Bills throughout the game. There were many plays where a defender was in the backfield almost immediately on LeSean McCoy carries. At one point, you could see that the running back was visibly upset with his line.

In addition to inconsistent run blocking, Tyrod Taylor had avoid pressure throughout the game for the Bills. A less mobile quarterback would have been sacked quite a few times on Sunday.

Penalties were also an issue for the line on Sunday. The unit will need to limit their holding penalties going forward. This year’s line is certainly better than what the team rolled out last season, but there is still plenty of work to do.

Sammy Watkins

Zero catches. Watkins had a very tough matchup against Vontae Davis, but playing a team’s top cornerback will be common for Watkins. Davis is among the best in the league, but it was disappointing that Buffalo’s first round pick in 2014 couldn’t record a single catch. He was targeted three times during the game.

Hopefully Watkins enters next week’s game with a chip on his shoulder. He should be able to get open on New England’s cornerbacks.

NFL referees

Phantom penalties always seem to hurt the Bills. On Sunday, they didn’t end up hurting Buffalo too much, but there were still some questionable calls.

Charles Clay’s chop block penalty? Absolutely atrocious.

Jerry Hughes’ face mask penalty? It didn’t appear to happen.

And a running into the kicker penalty on Anthony Dixon should not have been called. That was an acting job done by Pat McAfee.

Buffalo won comfortably on Sunday, but the referees did the Bills no favors with some of the penalties called.


Buffalo Football Report Top Stories