It’s time for football once again, ladies and gentlemen!
The Minnesota Vikings make their return to U.S. Bank Stadium today for their first battle with an AFC opponent for 2018, hosting the Buffalo Bills. The Vikings are a huge favorite in this one, but as we all know as Vikings fans, that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. We’ll have a new Open Thread for your reading and commenting pleasure at the start of each quarter, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for that.
Here’s everything you need to know about today’s game:
Time: Sunday, 23 September, noon Central time
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television coverage: WCCO-4 in the Twin Cities, local affiliates in cities across America, and DirecTV Channel 709.
Radio coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 105, XM Channel 232
Line: Vikings -17, over/under 41.5
Prediction: Minnesota 34, Buffalo 10
1) Don’t get cocky, kid - Yes, the Vikings are favored by a ton in this one, and yes they appear to be a significantly better team. But with a matchup against the high-powered Los Angeles Rams coming up on a short week, the Vikings can’t afford to look past the Bills in this one. This has all the makings of a “trap game,” and the Vikings need to do what they can to avoid it.
2) Get after Josh Allen - The seventh overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft will be making his first career road start for the Bills today. He’s got a ton of talent, to be sure, but Mike Zimmer’s defense is going to have to knock him around and get him frustrated. They should be able to do that against a Bills’ team that has had some offensive line woes.
3) Win on special teams - With three missed field goals and a punt that was blocked and turned into a touchdown, the Vikings essentially spotted Green Bay 16 points on special teams last week. They can’t continue to do those sorts of things and expect to get away with it. Special teams could give the Bills an opportunity to make a dent against this team, and the Vikings need to prevent that from happening.
Know the Foe: Buffalo Rumblings
Twitter: Right here (being manned during a game for the first time this season)
Enjoy the game, ladies and gentlemen!