KRAVITZ: 5 things to watch in the Colts-Bills game Sunday

(AP file photos)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - columnist Bob Kravitz's five things to watch for in Sunday's game against the Bills:

  1. Keep LeSean "Shady'' McCoy under control. The Bills running back, who has not yet broken out yet this season, is really the only significant weapon in the Buffalo arsenal. A year ago, McCoy was the difference in the blizzard game, high-stepping his way through knee-deep snow to beat the Colts. It only makes sense that the Bills will feed McCoy early and often; they're not going to want to leave the game in the hands of long-time backup Derek Anderson, who hasn't been any good since around 2008.
  2. Be patient. The Colts have to go into this game knowing that Buffalo's defense, which gives up just 12.7 points per game, is a menace while the offense is inept. When we're talking about patience, we're talking about protecting the football, making plays that are there to be made while not taking unnecessary chances. This cannot be a multiple-turnover game, or the Colts could suffer the indignity of losing at home to one of the worst teams in the league.
  3. Get production on early downs, whether that's running or throwing short passes. While Buffalo's defense doesn't have any huge names, they play extraordinarily well together, and you know that former Colt Jerry Hughes will want to come to Lucas Oil and make a statement. Buffalo's coach, Sean McDermott, learned from Jim Johnson, the old Eagles' defensive coordinator. As a result, he's got all kinds of exotic blitz packages he can and will employ on third-and-long.
  4. Catch the freaking football. This is unofficial, but I've got the Colts for 18 drops in the last three games. The good news is, T.Y. Hilton looks like he's going to play but you figure Buffalo will put its best corner, Tre'Davious White, on the Colts' best wide receiver. Somebody else besides Eric Ebron has got to step up and make some plays.
  5. Get a lead by any means necessary. For once, I'd like to see the Colts win the coin flip and choose to receive the kickoff at the start of the game. Buffalo is almost completely lacking in firepower. If they can make Anderson and that group play catch-up all day, the Colts will walk away from this game 2-5.