Bills vs. Colts, Week 12: Strong defense key for Indianapolis win

Joe Robbins

The Indianapolis Colts rode a strong defensive performance to a win on Sunday, beating the Buffalo Bills 20-13.

The Indianapolis Colts recovered from a blowout loss in New England by beating the Buffalo Bills on Sunday, 20-13, thanks to a strong defensive performance in front of a very special guest.

Coach Chuck Pagano, who is fighting leukemia, was on hand on Sunday as interim coach Bruce Arians led the Colts to a big game on defense and special teams over the Bills, not allowing a touchdown until the fourth quarter. The Colts offense struggled for much of the game and was boosted by a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown by T.Y. Hilton.

Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue praised the defense, especially the play of linebacker Jerrell Freeman:

The defense was led by inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman, who has continued to impress this season. Today he continued to make a strong statement with 16 total tackles (3 for loss) including a sack and another quarterback hit. He should garner some Pro Bowl buzz if he keeps playing like he has been.

Robert Mathis also notched a sack today, and Dwight Freeney looked as healthy today as he has looked all year. That did not equal much on the stat line (it was all zeroes besides a quarterback hit) but he had a few plays in specific where he created some nice pressure. Fili Moala had a good game as well, before he left with an injury and did not return (officially an ACL sprain, per the team). Josh Gordy played pretty well today, at first look, and it seemed like he played one of his best games of the year. Of course, part of it may have been that the other two corners today (Darius Butler and Cassius Vaughn) didn't do much.

The Bills were just 4-of-13 on third down while managing just 169 yards through the air. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was held to his lowest completion percentage (51.5) of the season, passing for just 180 yards and one touchdown and an interception.

The Colts will next face the Detroit Lions on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

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