Week 3 of NFL action at U.S. Bank Stadium began with the Minnesota Vikings winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, meaning that the Buffalo Bills got the football first. The first kickoff of Dan Bailey’s career as a Viking went into the end zone for a touchback, giving Josh Allen and company the football at their own 25-yard line to start things off.
It appeared that the Vikings had a three-and-out following a sack by Eric Wilson, but Linval Joseph was called for lowering the head to initiate contact to negate the stop and allow Buffalo to continue their drive. Allen got off to a nice start for the Bills, completed three of his first four passes, and the Bills pushed down to the edge of the Minnesota red zone. Anthony Barr was then flagged for tacking Chris Ivory by the face mask, and suddenly the Bills were near the Minnesota goal line. Then, on second-and-9 from the Minnesota 10, Allen escaped from the pocked and dove for the pylon, crossing the goal line for a 10-yard touchdown run. Steven Hauschka added the extra point, and five minutes into the game the Bills had a 7-0 lead.
The Vikings followed up their sloppy defensive start by being penalized on Mike Hughes’ kickoff return as well, putting them at their own 7-yard line to start things out. On third down, Kirk Cousins was flushed out of the pocket, and Trent Murphy knocked the ball out of his hands from behind, with the Bills recovering at the Minnesota 15-yard line. Just a nightmare start for the Vikings.
Minnesota’s defense caught a break on Buffalo’s next drive, as Allen hit Kelvin Benjamin for what probably would have been a touchdown, but Benjamin dropped it. Hauschka converted on a 30-yard field goal, and Buffalo extended their lead to 10-0.
Things got no better for the Vikings on the next drive, as it turned out to be a repeat of the first drive. Minnesota found themselves looking a third-and-long, and once again Cousins got hit from behind and fumbled the football. Buffalo recovered it again, and were once again set up deep in Minnesota territory.
It didn’t take the Bills long to convert, as on second down Allen found Jason Croom, and there wasn’t a Viking within ten yards of him when he caught the football. Croom cruised into the end zone for a 26-yard score, and the Vikings found themselves down 17-0 less than ten minutes into the football game.
After another touchback, the Vikings actually managed to generate a first down thanks to a carry by Mike Boone. However, that was all they could get, as Cousins overthrew Adam Thielen to end the drive. Matt Wile came in to punt, and the Bills took over at their own 35-yard line after a holding penalty on Kevin McDermott.
The Vikings nearly got a spark on what should have been an interception by Trae Waynes on Buffalo’s first play, but he couldn’t hold on to it. After Buffalo converted a third down on a Josh Allen run, Danielle Hunter wrapped him up for a sack. Allen then found a wide open Chris Ivory for a 55-yard catch-and-run, and as we move to the second quarter, the Bills have a first-and-goal at the Minnesota 5-yard line.
It would be hard to envision a worse start for the Minnesota Vikings than we’ve seen today. This is absolutely unbelievable and disturbing for a team that’s supposed to be a Super Bowl contender.
As we move to the second quarter of play, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Buffalo Bills by a score of 17-0, and Buffalo is on the verge of adding more. Let’s see if it gets any better, or if it possibly gets any worse.