The Washington Times-Herald

November 25, 2012

Colts/Bills pregame capsule

Tom James
Tribune-Star coorespondent

INDIANAPOLIS — The game -- Buffalo Bills (4-6, 1-3 AFC East) at Indianapolis Colts (6-4, 2-1 AFC South), 1 p.m. (ET), Lucas Oil Stadium (FieldTurf), Indianapolis, IN


Coverage -- CBS Sports (Marv Albert, Rich Gannon); Colts Radio Network (Bob Lamey, Will Wolford, Kevin Lee); Sirius NFL Radio (Channel 148, Colts; Channel 93, Bills); XM NFL Radio (Channel 232, Colts).


The coaches -- Colts: Bruce Arians, interim (5-2, 1st year with Indianapolis). Bills: Chad Gailey (33-42, 3rd year with Buffalo).


The series -- 67th regular-season meeting. Bills lead series, 35-30-1. While Buffalo won the last meeting of the two franchises, posting a 30-7 victory in the final game of the 2010 season (when Colts coaches and management decided to rest the team's starters for most of the game due to the impending playoffs), Indianapolis has won six of the past seven games and seven out of the last nine meetings. Buffalo hasn't posted a victory in Indianapolis since 1998, registering a 31-24 win at the old Hoosier/RCA Dome. The Colts are 17-14-1 in home games with Buffalo while the Bills have won 21 of 34 at their home field in the series. The series began in 1970 when both the Colts and Bills were members of the AFC East. Indianapolis won the last matchup played in Indianapolis, registering a 17-16 decision in 2006. The series has been played in five different venues: Buffalo, War Memorial Stadium (3-0) and Rich/Ralph Wilson Stadium (10-21); Baltimore/Indianapolis, Memorial Stadium (5-7-1), Hoosier/RCA Dome 12-7, Lucas Oil Stadium (0-0).


Noting it -- The Colts are 4-1 at home this season...Indianapolis has responded with a win after every loss this season...The Colts have posted wins in their last three home games...Former Colts assistants George Catvaolos (1984-1993, 1998-2001)and Pete Metzelaars (2004-11) are now on the Buffalo coaching staff...QB Andrew Luck posted his fifth 300-yard passing game last week, surpassing former Colts QB Peyton Manning (1998) for the most by a rookie in league history...Luck's 2,965 passing yards are the most through 10 games among rookie quarterbacks in NFL history...Luck leads AFC quarterbacks in rushing yards (163) and rushing touchdowns (5)...In home games this season, Luck has thrown eight touchdown passes and has two interceptions. He has a 88.6 passer rating in five home contest.s...RB Vick Ballard ranks second among rookie running backs this season with 386 rushing yards…WR Reggie Wayne now has 1,003 receiving yards this season. It marks the eighth season in which he has surpasses the 1,000 yard mark…Wayne (938) needs six receptions in order to surpass Hall of Famer Art Monk (940) and Derrick Mason (943) for 11th most in league history...Wayne has caught 15 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown in five career games with the Bills...Wayne ranks first in the NFL with 76 receptions this season and second in the league with 1,003 receiving yards...CB Vontae Davis has three career interceptions in six games with Buffalo. Davis had a pair of interceptions against the Bills on 12/18/11. He returned an interception for a touchdown against Buffalo on 10/4/09...Rookie WR T.Y. Hilton posted his third 100-yard receiving game of the season in last week's loss to New England...Hilton's three 100-yard receiving games are the most among rookie receivers in the league this season and tied former Colts WR Andre Rison (1989) for the most in franchise history...Hilton had a career-best two touchdown receptions in the loss to the Patriots...OLB Dwight Freeney has two career sacks in two career games with the Bills...OLB Robert Mathis had two sacks in his last game with Buffalo...Mathis is aiming for his fifth consecutive home game with a sack this season...PK Adam Vinatieri has made 30-of-48 attempted field goals against the Bills, including a 52-yard effort.


Did you know? – Bills assistant defensive backs coach Adrian White was an assistant at Indiana State during the 2001 season.


Stat of the week -- The Indianapolis Colts rank fourth in the league in total offense per game. Indianapolis, despite a rookie quarterback and several other rookie starters, are averaging 393.4 yards per game in total offense through 10 games this season.


The game plan -- The keys to a successful Indianapolis Colts home game this week are well known.


Don't cough up the football on offense. Convert on third down on offense. Get the running game going on offense. Score touchdowns in the red zone instead of kicking field goals on offense.


The same goes for the defensive side of the ball. Indianapolis has to create havoc with its pass rush and try to force turnovers. Be aggressive on defense. But also play under control as the Bills like to utilize screen passes to their running backs and receivers.


Key matchups -- Colts QB Andrew Luck vs. Bills FS Jarius Byrd. Stanford vs. Oregon. A battle of former Pac 10 standouts. Lucks has thrown 12 interceptions this season. Byrd is a ballhawk with a team-leading four interceptions.


Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Colts OLBs Dwight Freeney/Robert Mathis. Fitzpatrick has been sacked 18 times this season, 10 in the last three games. Freeney and Mathis are the top sacking duo in Colts history. Enough said.


Colts ROT Winston Justice vs. Bills LDE Mario Williams. Justice has been bothered by a knee injury throughout the season. Williams is new to Buffalo after leaving Houston at the end of last season. He has eight tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks this year.