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*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
So, how the hell did the Buffalo Bills mop the floor with the Minnesota Vikings? I mean, I barely paid attention to this game at kickoff because I knew how it was going to end up (Vikings -16.5). The next thing I know it’s 17-0 Bills in a blink.
If you believe in any given Sunday…this was the walking definition. I’m not a big Vikings guy, but this game was so jinxed against them from the start it wasn’t even funny…and the bad luck just never ended.
On the first Bills scoring drive, the Vikings locked down Buffalo, a 3rd & 4 sack of Josh Allen to force a punt…but wait…’lowering the head’ penalty. Drive extended, Bills go down and score 7-0. OK, it happens. Vikes will comeback, I’m sure of it.
Vikings get the ball back, Kirk Cousins sacked/fumble and Bills recover already set up in the red zone. Bills settle for an FG…10-0 Bills. OK, fine. Plenty of time for Minnesota.
Vikings get the ball on the ensuing kickoff, Cousins sack/fumble away again…Bills 25 yards away from a score. A great misdirection play, easy TD throw…17-0 after one quarter. Actually, 17-0 in less than 10 minutes of play.
Next Buffalo drive, Bills with the ball…Allen throws an easy pick downfield…dropped. Bills still alive on the drive and go down to the 1-yard line, go for it on 4th & 1…get the TD, 24-0. Eventually 27-0 at the half.
Vikings try to comeback in the 2nd-half, but then…Latavius Murray gets hit after a short catch, the ball pops into the sky – Bills diving pick. Vikings sack Allen multiple times and 3 times this game Allen fumbles, but Buffalo recovers everyone of them.
This was just one of those games…I’d forget it even happened, it would never happen again.
I will say this…the Vikings are damn lucky they are not 0-3. They have been sloppy in all three games this season -- lucky against the Packers Week 2, and not so lucky here.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- This was not a Josh Allen (15-22 for 196 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 10-39-2) uprising. It was the same Josh Allen…now, running Sam Darnold’s shortened passing game to hide his issues (very smart of the Bills). If you don’t get Allen running for scores…you have 196 yards passing, multiple dropped picks, sacked three times, fumbled three times and got very, very lucky.
Nothing changed here except the bounce of the ball from the football gods.
-- Chris Ivory (20-56-0, 3-70-0/4) did take the bulk of the work, not Marcus Murphy. The Bills got up so fast it looked like they just stayed with the starter/veterans more than not. Ivory did nothing special here but be alive in a blowout. A gifted short pass turned 55-yard rumble…otherwise he had a garbage day.
If no LeSean McCoy this week, I guess it’s Ivory as the lead…but if the Bills get down quick, instead of this blowout start here, we might see a lot more Murphy as the pass game is called upon.
-- I’ll probably only say this 100+ more times over the next 3-4 years, but Mike Boone (2-11-0, 1-0-0/1) is a better version of Dalvin Cook. Boone will never get a fair chance, so tuck that away for when the Vikings HAVE to play him more some day. He’s so very good. In his 11-yard run that he had in this one (on of his two carries)…he looked so smooth. A really good NFL complimentary back.
The Vikings would be fine with a Murray-Boone duo. They will instead give Dalvin a huge contract when the time comes.
-- Thielen v. Diggs for Kirk Cousins after three games…
10.7 catches, 14.7 targets, 112.7 yards, 0.33 TDs per game…all three games 100+ yards =Thielen
5.3 catches, 9.7 targets, 62.7 yards, 1.0 TDs per game…one 100+ yard game = Diggs
Snap Counts of Interest:
54 = Ivory
16 = Murphy
38 = Murray
13 = Boone
66 = Thielen
58 = Treadwell (what the?)
57 = Diggs
23 = Harrison Phillips
12 = Jaleel Johnson
04 = Eric Wilson