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Bills vs. Colts game recap: Buffalo wins, 44-20, as Colts backups struggle

The Bills routed the Colts, 44-20, in Sunday afternoon preseason action.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills jumped all over mistakes made by the Indianapolis Colts and came away with a comfortable 44-20 win in their preseason opener on Sunday.

With Kevin Kolb still nursing a knee injury, rookie E.J. Manuel got the start for Buffalo and played the entire first half. He had an up-and-down performance and threw for just 5.1 yards per pass, but engineered a solid two-minute drive at the end of the second quarter, hitting Dorin Dickerson for a touchdown to give Buffalo a 20-13 halftime lead. Manuel finished with 16 of 21 completions for 107 yards, adding 28 yards on three scrambles.

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Andrew Luck made a brief cameo, throwing just six passes before making way for Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck hooked up with T.Y. Hilton for a 45-yard score in the first quarter to give the Colts their only lead of the game. Rookie Marquise Goodwin erased the Bills' deficit in the second quarter with a 107-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

In the second half, rookie Jeff Tuel took over for Manuel and opened the floodgates. Tuel completed 19 of 23 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns, finding Da'Rick Rogers and Brandon Kaufman in the end zone. His lone mistake came when he lost a fumble in the fourth quarter, which was returned 72 yards by Daxton Swanson for a score.

On the Colts' side, Chandler Harnish entered the game as the third quarterback, but the results were not pretty. Harnish completed just 14 of 33 passes for a measly 109 yards and threw a pick-six to Jumal Rolle as the Colts' offense spun its wheels. Swanson's fumble return ended up being the only points Indianapolis scored in the second half. It doesn't look like Harnish will be threatening Hasselbeck for the No. 2 quarterback job any time soon.

Did they cover?

Not even close. The Colts entered the game as four-point favorites at home.

What's next?

Aug. 16, 7:00 p.m. ET: Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings

Aug. 18, 7:00 p.m. ET: Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants

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