It’s no mystery that the Buffalo Bills‘ new philosophy is one based around speed and aggressiveness. Even though it was only the first day of preseason, both of those things were on full display in the Bills’ 44-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
The Bills’ new-look defense under coordinator Mike Pettine looked athletic, aggressive, prideful, and fundamentally sound — essentially, everything they weren’t under last year’s coordinator Dave Wannstedt. Pettine already appears to have lit a fire under his defense and is getting significantly more out of his personnel than Wannstedt or former head coach Chan Gailey ever could.
On offense, the world class speed of the receiving squad was evident throughout the day, as the quarterbacks (notably undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel) were able to air it out for some impressive vertical plays down the field.
As nice as both new units looked, the biggest highlights of the day came on special teams, where rookie Marquise Goodwin showed off his blazing fast, game-changing speed while turning in two huge kickoff returns, one of them a 107-yard touchdown. His other big return was on the previous kickoff and looked as if it might go all the way before he was tackled just past the 50-yard line.
Even EJ Manuel was able to flex his legs, showing great quickness and decision-making as he took three carries for 28 yards, including a nice 24-yard rush early in the first half. Again, it may have only been the first game of the preseason, but the Bills looked dominant in a convincing win over the Colts and their team-wide speed and explosiveness had a lot to do with it.