LeSean McCoy showed off remarkable ability to get traction in the snow in Sunday's victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
McCoy was able to get outside the numbers for 73 of his 156 yards in the Bills' 13-7 victory.
"I think the harder you cut, you plant in the ground, you can get upfield," McCoy said. "When you're slowing down and try to cut, you're liable to slip. ... I just run how I feel, and that's what I did today."
Colts running back Frank Gore also was superb, rushing for 130 yards. Gore did almost all of his running between the tackles. He gained 12 yards outside the numbers, by News count.
The game was sixth-highest rushing total of McCoy's career. McCoy's career high of 217 yards for Philadelphia against Detroit in 2013 also came in a snowstorm. The field in Philadelphia that day was fully covered in snow but it was not up to the shins, as it was at New Era Field.
"To be honest, this game was a lot harder than the Philadelphia game," McCoy said. "I think the biggest reason was the snow never stopped and the wind never stopped. In the first half of the Philly game, it was crazy. But it stopped at halftime. We could run the ball a lot better, where in this game it continued to snow and snow and snow. I think this is probably the best one, or the worst one."
McCoy pushed his season rushing total to 1,007 yards, sixth best in the NFL. He's 98 yards behind NFL leader LeVeon Bell of Pittsburgh and 39 behind No. 2 Kareem Hunt of Kansas City. McCoy is on pace for 1,240 yards. He had 1,267 last season.
McCoy tops this week's position-by-position Bills grades, based on video review (on a scale of 1 to 5):
Running back (5.0): The top highlight play for McCoy was his leap over safety Darius Butler to get 15 more yards on his 25-yard run late in the second quarter. McCoy had great blocking on his 21-yard TD run. But his speed through the hole allowed him to easily run through an arm tackle of diving Colts safety Matthias Farley.
McCoy had 122 yards after contact. Pro Football Focus ranks him 10th in the NFL in yards after contact (52 percent of his yards come after contact). Of course, a huge part of McCoy's game is his ability to elude contact. Mike Tolbert was active after sitting the past three games. Too bad he fumbled at the end of his longest run of the season (25 yards).
Offensive line (3.5): There were some big alleys for McCoy to charge through on key plays. On the winning TD, Richie Incognito had a combo block on Johnathan Hankins then blew up Antonio Morrison. He smashed Morrison on the 23-yard second-quarter stretch run for McCoy. Eric Wood sealed off quality nose tackle Al Woods on the TD. On the 25-yard run, a pulling Jordan Mills took out Barkevious Mingo and Charles Clay sealed off Mangus Hunt. The long-armed Hunt was a beast for the Colts. Nick O'Leary had a tough task blocking him a bunch. But Mills took him out on a key 9-yard OT run. The Colts' D ranked 13th vs. the run, so it was a legitimate good showing by the Bills in tough conditions to pull.
"It was awful, it was terrible," Incognito said on trying to pull. "I ran one to the right and I was slipping. The fullback in front of me was slipping. I got over to the right side and the three defenders were slipping. It was a war of wills out there on a snowy day."
Receivers (2.5): Good thing Kelvin Benjamin returned. The Bills arguably would not have gotten to overtime without his 21-yard catch and the 8-yard TD that followed it. Maybe Deonte Thompson's impressive, 34-yard snatch in overtime prompts the Bills to target him a bit more.
Quarterback (2.0): Credit Nathan Peterman, Joe Webb and Wood with executing the snap exchange without losing a fumble. (One shotgun snap was low and fallen on.) That was an underrated success. The defense bailed out Webb after his bad interception at the end of regulation. But Webb redeemed himself by putting enough air under the ball to let Thompson make a play on the 34-yarder.
Defensive line (4.0): This game was all about effort because nobody could get the traction to show skill. Kyle Williams (key third-down hurry), Adolphus Washington (nine stout run plays) and DeAndre Coleman all played well against a Colts middle three that is not very good. The Colts were down to their No. 3 center. Eddie Yarbrough (43 of 71 snaps) did a good job crashing down on Gore from the backside. Ryan Davis (26 snaps) had an effort sack.
Linebackers (4.0): Matt Milano was rewarded for his strong recent play by getting 51 snaps. Ramon Humber had just 20. Milano made 11 tackles. It was a solid day of gap filling for Preston Brown and Lorenzo Alexander, too, since Gore's longest run was 10 yards.
Defensive backs (4.0): Safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer continue to shine. On the intentional grounding call against Jacoby Brissett, Hyde forced the throw-away because he didn't get fooled and protected deep against T.Y. Hilton. Hyde had the tight end covered on the deep end zone incompletion. On a fourth-down, fourth-quarter incompletion, Hyde had Chester Rogers covered.
Special teams (5.0): Punter Colton Schmidt and long-snapper Reid Ferguson were underrated stars.
Bills stars of the game: 1. LeSean McCoy. 2. Matt Milano. 3. Micah Hyde.