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Bills vs Colts: Jonathan Taylor faces top run defense

Bills vs Colts Week 11 NFL game preview

The Buffalo Bills maintain a slim lead in the AFC East, but they are about to begin a daunting stretch of games.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts have righted their season after a rough start.

Looking to win back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, the Bills will try to keep the visiting Colts from a third consecutive victory on Sunday at Orchard Park, N.Y.

Bills vs Colts: Buffalo’s Josh Allen aims to improve MVP standing

NFL: Buffalo Bills at New York Jets
Nov 14, 2021; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) throws a pass against the New York Jets during the second quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Buffalo (6-3) won four in a row from Sept. 19-Oct. 10 but has split its four games since. Since allowing its most points this season in the 34-31 Week 6 loss at Tennessee, the Bills have yielded 37 total over its last three games. They followed up a stunning 9-6 loss at Jacksonville with last weekend’s 45-17 road rout of the New York Jets.

It was a particularly good performance from Buffalo’s potent offense that was stymied by the Jaguars. At New York, the Bills got 366 passing yards and two touchdowns from Josh Allen, and 267 combined receiving yards from Stefon Diggs and Gabriel Davis.

“Ultimately, it comes down to executing whatever you’ve planned for that particular week,” offensive coordinator Brian Daboll told the Bills’ official website.

“You can’t get too far ahead of yourself. You can’t get too down if things aren’t perfect.”

With New England surging in the AFC East, the Bills must keep their focus. Especially with a run that begins with the Colts (5-5), followed by a Thanksgiving stop at New Orleans, a visit from the Patriots and trip to Tampa Bay.

Following an opening 23-16 loss to Pittsburgh, Buffalo owns a 109-32 scoring advantage during its three-game home winning streak. Allen is completing 70.4 percent of his passes for 855 yards, with eight touchdowns and one interception during those three games.

However, success this weekend might come down to how well Buffalo’s defense plays.

Bills vs Colts: Jonathan Taylor faces stiff challenge

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts
Nov 14, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs the ball while Jacksonville Jaguars free safety Rayshawn Jenkins (2) defends in the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills have the league’s best scoring defense (15.0 points allowed per game), but Indianapolis is averaging 30.3 points over its last seven games. The Colts are 5-2 since opening the season on a three-game losing streak, when they scored just 18.7 per contest.

Carson Wentz‘s run of six straight games with at least two touchdowns passes ended in last weekend’s 23-17 home win over Jacksonville. However, he’s thrown for 974 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions in four road games this season.

Meanwhile, Indianapolis running back Jonathan Taylor has averaged 122 rushing yards and 6.9 yards per carry — scoring seven touchdowns — over the last five games.

Related: NFL defense rankings – Packers return to elite status, Rams in trouble

Buffalo has allowed just 269 total rushing yards in their four home games, but leading tackler Tremaine Edmunds’ status with an injured hamstring remains uncertain.

“We’ve got to play with good integrity on defense,” Bills coach Sean McDermott said. “Good discipline on defense. Doing our jobs. Executing at a high level.”

The Colts, meanwhile, are back to .500 and feeling good about their progress and standing within the AFC, especially after that rough start.

“There’s a lot of good teams in the AFC, but no one’s just taken over, so why can’t it be us? Colts coach and former Bills quarterback Frank Reich said.

“Why can’t we take over? So, if we’re going to do it, we got to prove it this weekend, in Buffalo, against a very good football team.”

These teams last met in the AFC wild-card game at Buffalo last January. Allen threw for 324 yards with two touchdowns and Diggs had six catches for 128 and a touchdown as the Bills held on for a 27-24 victory.

–Field Level Media