Bills rally to beat Colts 27-24 in Matt Ryan’s Indy debut

ORCHARD PARK, NY (AP) — Matt Ryan’s pass attempts looked a lot like his Indianapolis Colts preseason debut: relatively short and efficient in a 27-24 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Saturday.

Tyler Bass scored a 46-yard field goal as time expired as Buffalo scored on three straight possessions in the 8:10 Final to recover from a 14-point deficit. Matt Barkley oversaw the comeback going 18 of 24 for 224 yards, with Raheem Blackshear rushing for 1- and 3-yard touchdowns on a 4:19 span to tie the game.

Buffalo won its ninth consecutive preseason outing, which ranks as the second-longest active streak in the NFL behind the Baltimore Ravens who have won a league-record 21 in a row.

Otherwise, most eyes were on Ryan. Acquired in a trade with Atlanta in March, the 15-year veteran was content to either check the ball or hand it to Nyheim Hines over four overs in both teams’ preseason opener.

As Von Miller and the rest of the Bills starting defense watched from the sideline, Ryan went 6 of 10 for 58 yards, with two misses on fourth attempts. On the bright side, Ryan didn’t commit a turnover in a first half in which the teams combined for six in total.

Ryan’s backup Nick Foles threw an interception and lost a fumble, which was returned 69 yards for a touchdown by Bills rookie linebacker Terrel Bernard.

As Buffalo also rested Josh Allen and his entire starting offense, Case Keenum struggled to throw two interceptions and lose a fumble. Receiver Jake Kumerow also lost a fumble.

Keenum’s performance was a disappointment for a player the Bills are looking to replace Allen after acquiring the 10-year veteran in a trade from Cleveland. He went 11 of 18 for 86 yards with his second interception after a play after Bills safety Jaquan Johnson struck out Foles to give Buffalo the ball to the Colts 15.

Under Keenum, the Bills managed just 119 net yards and five first downs in the first half.

Foles, an offseason free agent addition, went 7 of 11 for 72 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to uncovered running back Ty’Son Williams.

Ryan’s best accomplishment came on the opener of Indianapolis’ third practice, when he stepped into the pocket, dodged a defender and hit Michael Pittman on a cross homer for 17 yards. .

Practice ended seven plays later when Bills rookie cornerback Christian Benford got his hands on the ball to break up a pass intended for Pittman in fourth-and-four at Buffalo’s 43.

Ryan is expected to become the Colts’ fourth different starter on the first day in as many years since Andrew Luck’s retirement. He takes over after Indianapolis parted ways with Carson Wentz, who took the blame for the Colts squandering their playoff chances by losing their last two games, including a 26-11 season-ending miss at Jacksonville. .

Coach Frank Reich provided Ryan with the start of the preseason in part to give the starter an extra chance to prepare for the season opener in Houston on Sept. 11. Reich is also aware of how slow the Colts started last season. 1-4 under Wentz.

Sam Ehlinger, the Texas Colts’ sixth-round pick last year, went 10 of 11 for 88 yards with touchdown passes to tight ends Jelani Woods and Michael Jacobson.

ROOKIE VS ROOKIE

Bills first-round pick CB Kaiir Elam got the better of Colts second-round pick WR Alec Pierce by forcing Indianapolis to play three times on his first possession. Elam stayed close to Pierce on an oblique route and got his hands on Ryan’s attempt in third and third at the Colts 12.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Colts: PK Jake Verity, who competes with Rodrigo Blankenship, was wide right on an extra point attempt.

Bills: Sixth-round rookie pick P Matt Araiza (nicknamed “Punt God” at San Diego State) hit an 82-yard punt, which dribbled into the end zone.

REST NEWS

RB Jonathan Taylor was the Colts’ only offensive starter to take time off. Then again, he did enough the last time he visited Orchard Park, scoring four rushing touchdowns and another receiving in a 41-15 victory in November. Five TD’s performance set a franchise record.

INJURIES

Colts: CB Isaiah Rodgers who had an interception and recovered a fumble, did not return after suffering a head injury in the first half. … WR Keke Coutee did not return due to a groin injury.

Bills: Elam returned after being assessed for a head injury late in the second quarter.

NEXT

Colts: Host the Detroit Lions on August 20.

Bills: Host the Denver Broncos on August 20.

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