The Colts last visited Buffalo in 2015 in the season opener. The result was a 27-14 Bills victory. The game-time temperature that day was 56 degrees with 15 mph winds.
That is not exactly what will face the Colts on Sunday.
While Colts coach Chuck Pagano tried to simulate what the elements might be like by practicing outside Thursday and also having music played to help with the noise, he knows that is no comparison to the situation expected Sunday at New Era Field.
“It’s one of the first things we talked about was one of the challenges is handling the elements, not only the weather but the crowd, the crowd noise," Pagano said Friday. "It’s an extremely difficult place to play without it (weather). We know that firsthand. Opened up there a couple years ago ...
"We had cold weather. We didn’t have precipitation. We didn’t have snow. Couldn’t manufacture that. At least we got out in the cold – dealt with that. Wet ball drills. We play the music for communication. Again, they’re going to run the ball. We’re going to have to run the football. It’s supposed be mid-20s, low-20s, wind chill in the teens. Supposed to get some snow."
With that type of weather, the focus could be on the running game -- and stopping the run -- and the kicking game, Pagano said.
"You’ve got to deal with it, and if you can stop the run and you can run the ball and you can move the chains and be good on third down, it’ll help. We had wind Thursday on the third-down day, so it helped from a quarterback perspective and wide receivers navigating through that. So we’re going to have to deal with that.
"The kicking game – it plays a huge factor in the kicking game, because you’re going to get returns. They’ve got an excellent returner in (Brandon) Tate who’s a dangerous guy, but field position is going to be huge. If we can pin them inside the 10 (yard line), inside the 15 (yard line) and give them a long field to work with and short fields for our offense; it’ll bode well for us.”