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Colts out of Luck; Karlos Williams, Percy Harvin lead Bills to big win

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The Buffalo Bills began the Rex Ryan era in impressive fashion on Sunday with a 27-14 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. The Bills, under first-year coach Ryan, were led by quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who completed 14 of 19 passes for 195 yards and one touchdown. Taylor beat out former Florida State Seminole E.J. Manuel for the starting job.

Florida State was well represented in the game anyway. In his first NFL start, running back Karlos Williams outshone his Pro Bowl teammate, LeSean McCoy.

Williams gained 55 yards on only six carries, including a 26-yard touchdown run just 20 seconds before halftime. The Williams burst sent the Bills into the locker room with a 17-0 lead.

Williams, the Bills’ fifth-round draft choice in 2015, played only one season at running back for FSU. A converted defensive back, Williams rushed for 11 touchdowns in 2015.

While Williams was introducing himself to the NFL, former Florida Gator Percy Harvin was looking to remind the league and Bills fans of his glory days in Minnesota. Harvin hauled in a 51-yard bomb from Taylor to open the scoring as time expired in the first quarter. Harvin finished the day with 79 yards on five catches and a touchdown.

The former Vikings’ star had a brief, but troubled, stint in Seattle. He eventually wound up with the New York Jets and came to Buffalo with Ryan.

Manuel will have a hard time winning back his job as the Bills’ starter if Taylor keeps performing as he did on Sunday.  Manuel is not known for his running ability.

Taylor’s accuracy against the Colts made him just as effective as his counterpart from Indianapolis, Andrew Luck. Taylor threw one fewer touchdown and 50 fewer yards, but was interception free. Luck threw two interceptions.

The schedule does not get any easier for Buffalo. After beating the AFC 2015 runner-up this week, they host defending Super Bowl Champion New England next Sunday.

Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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