INDIANAPOLIS — The Buffalo Bills set a club preseason record Sunday with 44 points against the Indianapolis Colts.
Rookies had a hand in all but six of those points. They scored on offense, defense and special teams.
“Man, I told the guys before leaving the field, as a unit we did really well,” third-round pick Marquise Goodwin said. “We got a lot of things that we can work on.
“The rookie players came in and we did what we were supposed to. We did our job … and made the Buffalo Bills organization look good out there.”
Goodwin, a third-round pick, scored on a spectacular 107-yard kickoff return. Undrafted quarterback Jeff Tuel threw touchdown passes to undrafted receivers Da’Rick Rogers and Brandon Kaufman. Undrafted cornerback Jumal Rolle returned an interception for a touchdown.
The only veteran to score a touchdown, tight end Dorin Dickerson, caught a 17-yard strike from first-round pick EJ Manuel.
Sixth-round pick Dustin Hopkins kicked two field goals and two extra points. Veteran kicker Rian Lindell booted one field goal and three extra points.
Second-round pick Robert Woods didn’t get into the end zone, but he was an important part of Manuel’s touchdown drive at the end of the first half. Manuel connected with Woods three times, twice for first downs, on the series.
“We’re very proud,” Manuel said. “We’re all really good friends. Obviously, this is just the first preseason game. We have a long way to go. But I think we’re starting to get ourselves some confidence.”
As the ball hurtled deep into the end zone, Goodwin said he didn’t even consider kneeling for a touchback before dashing all the way for his touchdown.
“I’m bringing it out every time,” Goodwin said with an unapologetic smile. “That’s in my mind until the up-returner keeps me in. In my mind, I was ‘Yeah, I’m going to take this one.’ ”
Free-agent fullback Frank Summers did not give Goodwin the stop sign.
Goodwin sprinted up the right sideline. Summers made the key block that sent Goodwin on his way across the field and eventually up the left sideline to tie the game at 13 in the second quarter.
“He took the end out,” Goodwin said, “and I just cut off his butt and cut up the field and cut across the field and just ran for my life.”
Goodwin had a 53-yard kickoff return in the first quarter, but Kerwynn Williams clipped his ankle and prevented Goodwin from scoring his first NFL touchdown even earlier.
Veteran quarterback Kevin Kolb, who hasn’t practiced since Aug. 2, dressed Sunday but did not take a snap.
Kolb injured his knee Aug. 3 and then left the team because of a death in the family. He returned to the team Thursday night but didn’t practice Friday night at St. John Fisher College.
Bills coach Doug Marrone was disappointed his team took nine penalties for 74 yards and committed a pair of turnovers.
Four of the Bills’ penalties gave the Colts first downs.
“There’s still a lot of work to do for us,” Marrone said. “We had a lot of young guys out there. Little things that we must get better at, obviously, are the penalties. I wasn’t very pleased with that. The players understand that.”
The Bills escaped their preseason opener without any serious injuries. That’s a victory in itself.
Dickerson left the game with a left ankle injury that Marrone deemed insignificant. Offensive lineman Thomas Welch left the game in the fourth quarter with a minor facial cut.
Ron Brooks, who started at cornerback, injured his left hamstring but continued to play special teams. Cornerback T.J. Heath had a right quadriceps injury.
Ten Bills did not dress for Sunday’s game because of injuries:
Wide receivers Stevie Johnson, Brad Smith and Kevin Elliott, tight ends Scott Chandler and Mike Caussin, guard Keith Williams, defensive tackle Aaron Tipoti, linebacker Keith Pough and cornerbacks Leodis McKelvin and Justin Rogers.
Woods started instead of Johnson. Lee Smith and rookie Chris Gragg started the game in a two-tight formation.
The Bills tweaked their blue jerseys for 2013. The jerseys no longer have pointed white collars that some thought resembled old-school neckrolls – but others saw them as toilet seats.
Collars now wrap all the way around the player’s neck, with an NFL logo at the “V.”