No Andrew Luck. No Frank Gore. No Robert Mathis. That wasn't an issue for the Indianapolis Colts because it’s only the preseason, and they know what each of those players will provide during the regular season.
The Colts took a different approach during the offseason. They shied away from being active spenders on the free-agent market, instead choosing to develop the players they have on the roster and put a bigger emphasis on the draft.
It's a new season with the same issues when it comes to the Colts' running game.
QB depth chart: Scott Tolzien, who replaces Matt Hasselbeck as Luck's primary backup, started and played the entire first half. He finished 12-of-23 for 140 yards and a touchdown. Tolzien's most effective play was the 42-yard touchdown pass he threw to running back Jordan Todman on a screen pass. Stephen Morris, whom the Colts signed late last season, played the second half and went 5-of-9 for 104 yards and a touchdown.
Maybe that player could start: The Colts' defensive line is in flux at the moment because of injuries to Kendall Langford (knee) and Henry Anderson (knee) and the four-game suspension of Arthur Jones, but T.Y. McGill is definitely worthy of being in the mix to push David Parry, who started all 16 games last season, for the starting nose tackle job. McGill closed the 2015 season well, and he has been one of the team's best defensive linemen in training camp. He had three tackles, including one for a loss, and a pass defended against the Bills.
Who got hurt? Denzelle Good, who has the inside track to be the starting right guard after switching from tackle, left the game in the second quarter because of a knee injury. Linebacker Sio Moore, who is competing with Nate Irving to be the second starting inside middle linebacker, also left the game in the second quarter because of a hamstring injury.
When it was starters vs. starters, the Colts looked ...: Not so good, but you have to consider that the Colts were without at least four starters. The offense had a total of 17 yards and one first down through the first three series (12 plays). The starting offensive line had a difficult time giving Tolzien time to throw the ball in the pocket and didn't open many running lanes for the running backs. The defense didn't get any pressure on Buffalo quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor and EJ Manuel. Colts veteran cornerback Darius Butler got caught looking in the backfield on a play-action pass and gave up a 13-yard touchdown reception to tight end Chris Gragg.
Battle at receiver: The Colts are set at the top three receiver spots, with T.Y. Hilton, Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett. But nobody knows who the fourth and fifth receivers on the roster will be. Rookies Chester Rogers and Tevaun Smith made their cases for those spots. Rogers had two catches for 63 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown on which he broke a tackle to get free. Smith had three receptions for 34 yards.
One reason to be concerned: The Colts' special teams were down overall in 2015. It didn’t take long for them to look worrisome again. Prior to catching his touchdown pass, Gragg burst up the middle and blocked Pat McAfee's punt. McAfee knocked the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety to prevent the Colts from giving up a touchdown.
Nothing on the ground: Undrafted rookie Josh Ferguson started at running back in place of Gore. Ferguson, who has had an impressive training camp so far, did little to cement his spot as Gore's primary backup this season. In fact, nobody played well enough to say he deserved the job. The Colts rushed for a total of 6 yards in the first half and 30 yards on 23 attempts in the game. Morris led the Colts in rushing with 19 yards.
Sack help: The Colts moved second-year player Earl Okine from defensive end to linebacker during the offseason to help them try to find younger pass-rushers. He showed his athleticism with a nice spin move to get one of the Colts' two sacks. Mathis led the Colts in sacks with seven last season, but he's 35 years old.