With the 2018 NFL season in the books, we look back at the year and our beloved Buffalo Bills. Every week is a story, and we bring this to you through the lens of key plays that defined each game. Your Week 3 match-up:
Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings
Approaching the third Sunday of September, the Buffalo Bills had already been manhandled by the Baltimore Ravens and San Diego Chargers. Despite only being Week 3, the season was already slipping away. With his first start behind him, there was some hope Josh Allen would settle in against the Vikings and help the Bills right the ship, pull out of their tailspin, and various other transportation cliches. If the rough start wasn’t bad enough, the team had trouble finding the correct Minnesota. Things were looking bleak before the game even started.
Would Leslie Frazier redeem himself after being handed back the reigns to the defense? Would either side of the ball put together a solid game? Would...OMG, the Bills did WHAT?
Josh Allen’s first rushing touchdown (Q1, 10:11)
Against the Ravens, Buffalo never found the end zone. The following week against the Chargers, they managed the trip once, but it took until the third quarter. A methodical ten-play drive to start the game was unusual for these Bills. Josh Allen capped it off with his first NFL rushing touchdown. It was a lead the Bills wouldn’t give up.
Trent Murphy strip-sack (Q1, 9:30)
The Buffalo Bills’ defense and Leslie Frazier rebounded after two consecutive embarrassments where 78 points were allowed (75 in the six quarters Frazier called). On Minnesota’s first possession Trent Murphy was hellbent on finding Kirk Cousins after seemingly being taken out of this third down play. The blind hit put the ball on the ground where Lorenzo Alexander snatched it up after only one bounce. The Bills’ offense stalled but the recovery had already set them up in Stephen Hauschka’s field goal range.
Jerry Hughes strip-sack (Q1, 6:04)
Following the field goal, the Vikings had plenty of time to overcome a ten-point deficit. After getting the ball back, Kirk Cousins calmly and coolly...got strip-sacked again. This time by Jerry Hughes who came in clean off the edge. Jerry Hughes may as well have worn purple. He spent the better part of the day in the Minnesota backfield racking up 13 total pressures. Matt Milano was the first one to the ball and the Bills were back in scoring range.
Jason Croom touchdown (Q1, 5:15)
Two plays after the turnover, this happened. Josh Allen puts in an Oscar-worthy performance with his role in the short film “I’m throwing this way...PSYCH!” The effortless 26-yard connection to Jason Croom put the Bills up by 17 points. The Vikings panicked and abandoned the run. With only three attempts (and one of those from Cousins) after this play, the predictable Minnesota offense was torn apart by the Bills all day. Incidentally, if you’re in need of a “Jason Croom 2018 touchdowns” video, you’re looking at it.
The Hurdle (Q1, 2:05)
Looking for a momentum change, the Vikings appeared to have the Bills primed for a three-and-out. Josh Allen said “no thank you” and figuratively hurdled obstacles to success. Also, he literally hurdled them. The first downs kept coming until Allen took it in from one yard to finish an eleven-play drive. The game had barely progressed into the second quarter and the Bills were able to put it in cruise control.
Let’s take a look at another angle.
Which play best defines the Buffalo Bills’ victory over the Vikings?
This poll is closed
Josh Allen’s rushing touchdown
Trent Murphy strip sack
Jerry Hughes strip sack
Jason Croom touchdown
Josh Allen jumping over things