The Buffalo Bills dominated much of Thursday’s preseason opener, roaring to a 24-16 victory against an Indianapolis Colts team that rested many starters.
The Bills surged to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter on an 8-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Matt Barkley to Cam Phillips and a 1-yard touchdown leap by Senorise Perry.
Jacoby Brissett was 2-of-5 for 21 yards in limited action as the Colts’ starting quarterback, and third-year cornerback Quincy Wilson was among the early defensive standouts with good coverage and physical play.
Indianapolis (0-1) returns to practice at Westfield’s Grand Park at 9 a.m. Saturday and will host the Cleveland Browns for its second preseason game on Aug. 17.
Here are four more takeaways from Thursday’s loss:
Frank Reich has made no secret of his desire to have a top-five rushing offense this season. And the Colts tried to establish the run game from the start at Buffalo.
But the first-team offense went nowhere. Nyheim Hines -- starting in place of Marlon Mack, who was a healthy scratch -- gained just one yard on six carries.
There were some mitigating factors. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo and center Ryan Kelly joined Mack on the sideline, and Indianapolis ran an extremely bland, no-frills scheme.
But the execution was not close to the level it will need to be for regular-season success.
FOUNTAIN OF PRAISE
Wide receiver Daurice Fountain continued his recent surge.
A fifth-round draft pick out of Northern Iowa in 2018, he’s been gaining confidence in training camp over the past week and produced at the highest level of any of the wideouts currently “on the bubble” for a 53-man roster spot.
Fountain led the team with five catches for 63 yards and got his case for making the roster off to a very good start.
DEFENSIVE HIGH SPOTS
A pair of less-talked about defensive players brought their strong camp practices into the first exhibition game.
Defensive end Carroll Phillips seemed to be everywhere at once, particularly during the third quarter, and racked up two sacks and three tackles. Rookie linebacker E.J. Speed also made plays all over the field and wound up with a team-high six tackles, including five solo stops.
Speed could prove to be the latest draft find for general manager Chris Ballard. A fifth-round pick out of Tarleton State, he’s already making a push for time as a starter at the strong-side linebacker position while serving as Darius Leonard’s backup on the weak side.
Chad Kelly had a successful return to his hometown.
The fourth-string quarterback completed 13 of 19 attempts for 121 yards and was the team’s leading rusher with four carries for 53 yards. The highlight was a 33-yard run for the Colts’ lone touchdown with 9:45 to play in the fourth quarter.