The Indianapolis Colts have ridden a hot streak into contention for a playoff spot in the AFC. After winning four of their last five to erase a tough start to the year and get back to .500, Indy will face one of the AFC favorites. The Colts travel to Buffalo to face the AFC East-leading Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Let’s check out the NFL odds for this match and decide which way to lean at the top-rated sportsbooks.
The Bills bounced back from a shocking loss to the Jaguars last week to blow out the Jets, while the Colts were beating that same Jaguar team.
Indianapolis Colts vs. Buffalo Bills
Sunday, November 21, 2021 – 01:00 PM EST at Highmark Stadium
Grinding Out a Win
The Colts had scored 30 or more points in four straight games before they were shut down by the suddenly resurgent Jacksonville defense. The Colts ended up punting seven times against the Jaguars and managed just six points in three-plus quarters after jumping out to a 17-0 lead. But Indianapolis found other ways to win. The Colts blocked a punt on special teams and leaned on the defense to keep Jacksonville in check in a 23-17 win.
"That was a grind,” said quarterback Carson Wentz, who was held without a touchdown pass for the first time in seven games. “But a win is a win in this division."
Running back Jonathan Taylor gave the Colts all the offense they needed. He ran for 116 yards and a score, his seventh straight game with 100 yards from scrimmage and a score. He also moved into a tie for the NFL rushing lead. The Colts will likely need to grind and also get some explosion back in the offense to hang with the Bills offense on Sunday.
The team emerged healthy on offense. Guard Quenton Nelson left Sunday’s game but was able to return. The only other concern is Wentz, whose wife is ready to go into labor any minute. He will play, but he’ll have a hefty distraction off the field all week.
On defense, the Colts are more dinged up. Xavier Rhodes missed the game with a calf injury. End Kwity Paye and linebacker Darius Leonard both suffered injuries but were able to return.
After losing an inexplicable 9-6 game against a terrible Jacksonville team, Buffalo saw the return of the “real Bills” on Sunday against the Jets, blowing out New York, 45-17. After winning four straight, the Bills have alternated wins and losses the last four games, but it's still good enough for second place in the AFC playoff standings.
The offense got a boost from the return of tight end Dawson Knox and tackle Spencer Brown, who had both been out with injuries. Running back Zack Moss also got cleared from the concussion protocol, although backup Matt Breida got playing time—and did well—to help give Moss a break.
The Buffalo defense also held up despite a pair of losses. Star Lotuleilei missed the game after a COVID test and Justin Zimmer is out for the year with a knee injury, leaving the line short-handed. The secondary stepped up, with each of the four starters getting an interception.
The Bills just basically regained their focus, cutting their penalties almost in half and showing more energy throughout. Perhaps the team has learned its lesson after overlooking the Jaguars. Either way, things seem to be back to clicking on all cylinders as Buffalo prepares to face an opponent with an even record after back-to-back games against the worst the league has to offer.
If Buffalo is on its game, it should cruise past this Colts team, even after Indianapolis has put together an impressive run. The Colts’ only hope is that the Bills see their energy and focus flag again, which seems unlikely so soon after the Jaguars debacle. For your NFL pick, look for the Bills to get a big home win.
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