nike nfl on field jersey Bills defeat Colts at Rogers Centre
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SubscriptionsGo to the Subscriptions Centre to manage your:Log OutLog out of your CBC account. Spiller eased the Buffalo Bills’ concerns about their run game Thursday night.
The rookie rushed for 54 yards and a TD in his first NFL start as Buffalo earned a 34 21 exhibition win over the Indianapolis Colts before just 39,583 spectators at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.
“We have a real good running back and it’s a joy to hand the ball off to him,” Bills starting quarterback Trent Edwards said. “He’s a very impressive player and we have to make sure he stays healthy.”
Spiller, selected ninth overall in this year’s NFL draft, quickly calmed the Bills’ fears with veterans Fred Jackson (hand) and Marshawn Lynch (ankle) both expected to miss the remainder of the pre season. The former Clemson star opened the scoring with a sparkling 31 yard run at 2:40 of the first quarter.
“He did an unbelievable run on that touchdown,” Bills head coach Chan Gailey said. “He picked up a couple [of blocks] on pass protecting and obviously he can run.”
A modest Spiller said his TD run was a team effort.
“I just read my keys and the offensive line did a great job of holding them,” Spiller said. “I just cut back, made a guy miss and it felt good to get in there.”
Buffalo improved to 1 1 while Indianapolis fell to 0 2.
The game was the fourth of eight Buffalo will play in Toronto through 2012, with the club hosting Chicago in a regular season contest in November. The victory was the Bills’ second at their home away from home, the other being an exhibition victory over Pittsburgh in 2008.
But once again the story was the attendance.
Not even the presence of such stars as Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and receiver Reggie Wayne as well as Spiller could deflect attention from the many patches of empty seats. The attendance was the lowest of the four games played here thus far and well short of Rogers Centre’s 54,000 seat capacity for football.
Bills in Toronto a tough sell
That’s yet another disappointment to the Toronto based group that secured the games dubbed Bills Toronto Series hoping to showcase the city as a viable home for a full time NFL franchise. The expectation when the series was unveiled was southern Ontario football fans would flock to Rogers Centre to watch Buffalo, regardless of the price.
But that’s not been the case as the combination of high ticket prices and bad Bills teams have combined to make this series a tough sell.
Fans complained about ticket prices two years ago, forcing event organizers, who are paying the Bills an average of $9.75 million per game, to slash prices by an average of 17 per cent. They also offered more than 11,000 tickets for less than $99 compared with just 4,700 for that price.
An hour before kickoff, there was little buzz outside Rogers Centre. There were fans walking around wearing various NFL jerseys but very few lines at the ticket booths. One attendant said there were still plenty of decent seats available ranging from $275 to $75.