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Buffalo Bills at Minnesota Vikings: first half open thread

Can the Bills ruin knockout pools all over America?

The Buffalo Bills face long odds of victory today against the Minnesota Vikings. Right around 60% of users on the website selected the Vikings in their knockout pools, and the Bills come into the game a 16.5-point underdog.

Of course, all that indicates is a lack of confidence in the Bills. There’s a reason why the games are played, and we’re about to find out if the Bills are going to be able to buck those odds.

Josh Allen makes his second career start today, and his first start on the road. He was what we thought he was last weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers—he flashed some solid moments, but looked largely raw in a 31-20 defeat. He was able to complete 54.5% of his passes, totaling 245 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions on the afternoon.

Buffalo is without it top offensive player, running back LeSean McCoy. Shady suffered a rib injury last weekend against the Los Angeles Chargers. His absence is huge, as the Bills likely would have leaned on him and the running game to help relieve pressure on Allen in his first road start. Veterans Chris Ivory and Marcus Murphy should share duties in the backfield in McCoy’s stead.

If the Bills are going to slow the Vikings’ excellent passing offense, they’ll need to pressure quarterback Kirk Cousins early and often. Minnesota’s starting right tackle Rashod Hill is back in the lineup after recovering from a foot injury. His presence will make Buffalo’s pass rushers work harder to achieve their goal.

Chat about the first half of the game with us here, Bills fans. Let’s hope it’s a better first half than the other two we’ve had thus far!