RCA Dome in Indianapolis was Peyton's Place Sunday. It also was Marvin's Gardens and Edgerrin's Eden. It certainly was no oasis for Doug Flutie and the Buffalo Bills.
Indianapolis' second-year quarterback, Peyton Manning, threw two touchdown passes to Marvin Harrison, and rookie running back Edgerrin James broke into the NFL by running for 112 yards and a touchdown as the Colts spoiled Buffalo's season opener, 31-14, before a crowd of 56,238.
The Colts sealed the surprisingly easy upset when cornerback Tony Blevins intercepted a Flutie pass and returned it 74 yards for a touchdown with 3:20 left.
The Bills managed only 47 yards in 15 rushing attempts and Flutie -- under pressure all game from a blitzing Colts defense -- was sacked five times. Buffalo lost one running back, Thurman Thomas, with a rib injury on the game's first play. Another, Antowain Smith, was ineffective with only seven yards in six carries.
"It wasn't fun, certainly," said Bills coach Wade Phillips.
Buffalo never led. James scored from a yard out late in the first period to get Indianapolis in front. Half the rookie runner's output came on successive runs of 40 and 16 yards in the third quarter as he sparked a 90-yard drive that ended with Manning's 24-yard TD pass to Harrison for a 21-6 lead.
The Bills' lone touchdown was Flutie's 6-yard bullet to veteran Andre Reed late in the third quarter. The Colts answered with a field goal and Blevins' interception return, however.
Obviously, the Bills need a lot of work before next Sunday's home opener against the defending AFC East champion New York Jets, who lost a game to the New England Patriots Sunday, 30-28, and quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who suffered a torn Achilles' tendon and will miss the rest of the season.