The Buffalo Bills (0-2) travel to face the reigning NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday in a Week 3 matchup featuring teams heading in opposite directions following playoff appearances in 2017.
Entering Friday as a 16.5-point underdog, the largest spread of the year, the Bills will have their work cut out for them playing in a hostile atmosphere against a team with its sights set on a Super Bowl championship.
As if it wasn’t enough that the Bills are struggling mightily on defense, having allowed 78 points in back-to-back losses to the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Chargers, the offense, led by rookie Josh Allen, must now attempt to solve a riddle that has befuddled many a rookie quarterback in the past: how to beat a Mike Zimmer-coached defense.
The last five times a rookie quarterback has squared off against a Zimmer-coached defense, they have struggled mightily passing the ball, failing to eclipse 180 yards in any game. To be fair, those rookie QBs weren’t asked to carry the team to victory in those contests and teams starting a rookie QB went 2-3 in those five matchups.
Minnesota leads the all-time series 8-5. The last time Buffalo traveled to play the Vikings, the Bills suffered a 38-14 defeat on Dec. 5, 2010 in a game pitting Ryan Fitzpatrick against Tarvaris Jackson in an epic quarterback showdown.
The last time these two teams squared off,
Uncle Rico Kyle Orton connected on a two-yard fade pass to Sammy Watkins with one second remaining to lift Buffalo to a 17-16 win on Oct. 19, 2014.
Here’s how to watch the game from home:
Date: Sunday, September 23, 2018
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern
Channel: The game will be carried locally on CBS on WIVB 4 in Buffalo, WROC 8 in Rochester, WTVH 5 in Syracuse and Utica, WRGB 6 in Utica and Albany, WCWN3 in Albany, WENY 36-2 in Elmira, and WBNG 12 in Binghamton and Elmira. View the broadcast map.
Announcers: Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Tony Romo (analyst)
Location: US Bank Stadium | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Radio: WGR 550AM (Buffalo), WCMF 96.5 FM and WROC 950 AM (Rochester), Fan 590 AM (Toronto), WTKW 99.5 FM and WKTV 105.5 FM (Syracuse), and the rest of the Buffalo Bills Radio Network.
Radio Play-by-Play: John Murphy and Mark Kelso in the booth with sideline reporter Sal Capaccio.
Online: NFL Game Pass, NFL.com Game Center
Friday Injury Report: Buffalo Bills: Full participant: WR Kelvin Benjamin (hip), CB Taron Johnson (shoulder), WR Ray-Ray McCloud (knee). Limited participant: Phillip Gaines (elbow), RB Taiwan Jones (head), RB LeSean McCoy (rib). Did not practice: DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring). Game day status: Questionable: Gaines, Johnson, Jones, McCloud, McCoy. Out: Lawson. Minnesota Vikings: Full participant: CB Mackensie Alexander (ankle/thumb), RB Mike Boone (groin), C Pat Elflein (ankle/shoulder), CB Holton Hill (ankle), OT Rashod Hill (foot), P Matt Wile (wrist). Did not practice: RB Dalvin Cook (hamstring), DE Everson Griffen (knee), TE David Morgan (knee), punt returner Marcus Sherels (ribs). Game day status: Questionable: Boone. Out: Cook, Griffen. Morgan, Sherels.