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Buffalo Bills 27, Minnesota Vikings 23: Bills comeback spoils undefeated preseason

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The Vikings really gave it up in the fourth quarter

Minnesota Vikings v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings appeared to be on the verge of an undefeated preseason, but the Buffalo Bills weren’t having it.

Thanks to three fourth-quarter touchdowns, the Bills claimed their own undefeated mark in the preseason, defeating the Vikings by a final score of 27-23 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Vikings, who sat 36 of their players on the evening, got on the board first behind starting quarterback Kyle Sloter. Sloter had a 23-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Dillon taken off the board by a holding penalty, but he persisted and found Ameer Abdullah for 15-yard score, with Kaare Vedvik connecting on the extra point to make the score 7-0 early in the first quarter.

From there, we got lots of field goals. First, former Vikings kicker Steven Hauschka connected on a 54-yarder to cut the score to 7-3. After missing a 37-yard attempt in the second quarter, Vedvik got another crack at things with less than a minute remaining in the half, connecting from 27 yards out to make the score 10-3 going into the locker room.

The Bills started the second half with a second 54-yard field goal, this one coming off of the foot of Chase McLaughlin to cut the Minnesota lead to four at 10-6. Not to be outdone, the Vikings attempted a 54-yard field goal. . .this one by incumbent Dan Bailey. . .and he split the uprights to push the margin back to seven at 13-6.

Late in the third quarter, rookie Jake Browning took over at quarterback, and he helped the Vikings tack on some more points, leading a scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. The drive ended with De’Angelo Henderson going over from three yards out, and the extra point from Bailey increased the lead to 20-6 with just over ten minutes left in regulation.

On the next drive, the Vikings got a big defensive highlight, as Karter Schult got to Bills’ quarterback Tyree Jackson and stripped the ball away from him, with Anree Saint-Amour recovering at the Buffalo 17.

The Vikings turned that into another field goal, as Bailey connected from 43 yards out, making the score 23-6.

On the ensuing drive, the Vikings’ defense gave up their first touchdown since the fourth quarter of the New Orleans game back in Week 1. It came on a bit of a freak play, as Reshard Cliett stripped Jackson of the ball. It went forward, into the end zone, where it was recovered by Victor Bolden for a Buffalo touchdown. McLaughlin connected on the extra point, and with just under four minutes left the score went to 23-13.

The Vikings continued to make it interesting, as they went three-and-out on their next drive, and decided to give Vedvik a try at punting the ball. He booted the ball away, and it went to the Bills’ Marcus Murphy. Murphy then proceeded to take the punt back 79 yards for a touchdown. With the extra point, the Bills were back to within a field goal at 23-20.

The Vikings once again went three-and-out, giving the Bills the football back with just over a minute remaining. Tyree Jackson pushed his team down the field, and capped the drive with an 8-yard touchdown pass to rookie David Sills with just eight seconds remaining. The extra point gave the Bills the final margin of victory at 27-23.

For the Vikings, Kyle Sloter played well into the third quarter, finishing his night completing 16-of-24 passes for 163 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Jake Browning came in to play the final quarter-plus, and completed 8-of-10 passes, but for just 46 yards and an interception on the game’s final play.

De’Angelo Henderson wound up leading the Vikings in rushing, picking up 59 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. The leading receiver was tight end Brandon Dillon, who had 48 yards on five catches.

The Vikings fall to 3-1 in the preseason with the loss, and will open the 2019 regular season on Sunday, 9 September, when they host the Atlanta Falcons at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Bills cap their preseason with a perfect 4-0 mark, and will open their season by traveling to take on the New York Jets in Week 1.

Minnesota defeats Buffalo by a final score of 23-13 to finish out the preseason. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!