Colton Schmidt vs. Rigoberto Sanchez
Both punters were superb. Neither had a shank or a muffed exchange. Schmidt's net average was 38 yards, Sanchez's was 35.6. Schmidt made the clutch punt of the game, kicking from deep in the end zone with the Bills backed up at their own 5 with 2:16 left in the half. He booted a 40-yarder with no return.
"That was the hardest kick because at least the hashes were semi-scraped off, Schmidt said. "But in the end zone there was like a foot and a half of snow. I know when I kicked the ball I had to kick through some snow. That was weird."
Schmidt used an end-over-end Aussie kick.
"That was it predominantly, especially going into the wind because when you get such strong gusts like we had today, almost just getting good contact on the ball is more important," he said.
LeSean McCoy vs. Frank Gore
Two great running backs showed off their skills, and they were the two best players on the field. McCoy rushed 32 times for 156 yards, a 4.9-yard average. Gore rushed 36 times for 130 yards, a 3.6-yard average. The 34-year-old Gore did all of his work between the tackles. Even in dry conditions, Gore sticks mostly to inside zone plays.
McCoy also did most of his work between the tackles, but he somehow found the traction to reverse field and get outside on a few occasions. Gore pushed his career yardage total to 13,827, just 274 behind No. 4 Curtis Martin on the NFL's all-time list. McCoy pushed his career total to 9,961.
"Give them credit," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "Credit Shady. They made some runs and obviously it hurts. Frank was a warrior."
Sean McDermott vs. Chuck Pagano
Both coaches had some tough game-management decisions in the brutal conditions. McDermott's worked, Pagano's key call didn't. McDermott could be second-guessed for punting on a fourth-and-1 situation from the Colts' 41-yard line with 4:13 left in overtime. Go for the win? No. The Bills' coach trusted his defense. The Bills punted, the defense held, and the Buffalo offense got the ball back at its own 35 with 2:25 left. If the Bills lose, that call gets criticized.
Pagano got conservative at the end of regulation, after Joe Webb handed the Colts a gift interception. The Colts faced a second down at the Buffalo 25 with 40 seconds left and no timeouts. They could have snapped the ball easily with 30 seconds left. Instead they waited until 7 seconds remained to spike the ball on second down. Then Adam Vinatieri missed a field-goal try with 6 seconds left.