The Bills seemed due for a clunker after six straight close games and today was the day. They turned it over five times and the Vikings blew out the Buffalo 38-14. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception and fumbled three times, losing two of them. Drayton Florence returned an interception for a score to give the Bills an early lead but Minnesota reeled off 38 unanswered points. Brett Favre was knocked out of the game on the opening possession on an Arthur Moats hit that forced an interception. Tavaris Jackson came in and played well in spurts but did throw three interceptions of his own. The banged up Adrian Peterson scored three touchdowns and Sidney Rice scored two for the Vikings as both players went over 100 yards. David Nelson caught a late touchdown pass in garbage time.
The Turning Point:
McKelvin's Fumble: The Vikings had just tied the game on a 31 yard touchdown catch by Sidney Rice thanks to a replay reversal. McKelvin was the man beaten for the score and he followed it up with a fumble recovered by the Vikings at the Buffalo 14. They scored four plays later to take the lead and they blew the Bills out from there.
The Big Drive:
The Vikings put the game away with their third touchdown drive of the first half. It was a five play, 60 yard drive to go up 21-7. It took just 2:07. Jackson scrambled for 13 yards and drew a roughing penalty at the end of the play. Peterson ended the drive with a 3 yard score.
Stat of the Game:
1st Half Domination: For the 2nd straight week the Bills got annihilated in the stat columns in the first half. They were outgained 246-41. The Vikings had 17 first downs to the Bills 2 and turned the ball over three times before intermission.
What You Don't See On The Stat Sheet:
Just how beat up the Bills were in this game. The Vikings pushed the Bills around and beat the physical.
- Rookie Arthur Moats is the name of the player who knocked Brett Favre.
- Stevie Johnson dropped a pass in the first quarter. It was perfectly thrown downfield pass on 3rd and 9 that would have put them in Vikings territory.
- Florence now has three interceptions in two TDs in the last three games. Before that he had never scored a touchdown.
- Bills one a replay challenge to get the ball back after an apparent Fitzpatrick fumble. The Vikings one a challenge on their first touchdown as an incomplete pass was reversed to a TD.
The worst thing that happened to the Bills was knocking Favre out of the game on the opening series. It just seemed like Jackson was waiting for his opportunity and was going to seize it. He played like a man possessed and dominated after throwing his pick six. The Bills just made too many mistakes and played their worst game since their bye week. We knew they were due for a clunker and this was it. Hopefully they won't go into the tank now with just four games left but knowing the character on this team I doubt it.
The Bills head back to Orchard Park to take on the improved Cleveland Browns and try to get back on track.