Buffalo Bills drop an overtime thriller to the Minnesota Vikings

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle)
Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills (Syndication: Democrat and Chronicle) /

Buffalo Bills hosted the Minnesota Vikings at Highmark Stadium for a chance to remain atop the AFC in this inter-conference battle. 

A week of conjecture centered around Josh Allen’s availability dominated the lead-up to this contest for the Buffalo Bills. Allen, however, did not seem limited in any capacity by his elbow injury.

Buffalo’s opening drive left much to be desired going just three plays and being forced to punt.

On its ensuing drive, however, the Minnesota Vikings got on the board with a beautiful throw from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson for a 22-yard score to take the lead at 7-0.

A 43-yard kickoff return by Duke Johnson set the Bills up in a charming scoring position, which led to a five-yard run by Devin Singletary, who tallied his first rushing touchdown of the year to tie the game.

Following a Vikings’ three-and-out, the wintery mix of Western New York began to fall on the field, but it didn’t last long. The snow didn’t stop Allen and company from driving 70 yards, in 10 plays, to take a seven-point lead.

Buffalo’s defense made a statement on the Vikings’ next offensive possession. Rookie cornerback Christian Benford intercepted an overthrown Kirk Cousins pass, which set the Bills up in scoring position, resulting in a Tyler Bass field goal to extend Buffalo’s lead to 17-7.

Minnesota responded with a field goal of its own to close the gap making the score 17–10.

Buffalo started its next drive from its 10-yard line. After six plays and 63 yards of offense, the Bills succumb to self-inflicted wounds. Devin Singletary coughed up the football on a promising offensive possession and the fumble was returned by Camryn Bynum 40 yards into Buffalo territory.

However, the Bills’ defense gave the ball back to its offense, forcing a turnover on downs.

Before the half, Josh Allen and Buffalo’s offense looked like it caught fire. On the drive’s first play, Allen scrambled for 25 yards leaving defenders in his dust. He then completed passes of 15 and six yards. On the drive’s only second down, Allen found Gabe Davis in the end zone for an 11-yard score to extend the lead to 24-10 before the half.

The second half got off to a slow start, until late in the third quarter when Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook took a handoff around the left side for an 81-yard touchdown run.

After a Josh Allen interception on fourth down in the red zone, the Vikings again cashed in on a 13-play, 66-yard drive when fullback C.J. Ham found the end zone. Vikings’ kicker, Greg Joseph missed the extra point, which made the score 23-27 Bills.

The Buffalo Bills did nothing to drain the clock, score points, or impose its will on the Vikings, which resulted in a three-and-out for Buffalo.

Following Buffalo’s punt, the Vikings drove 12-plays, 75 yards, and turned the ball over on downs when Kirk Cousins fell just short of the end zone on a quarterback sneak.

The Buffalo Bills regained possession but fumbled the ball in its end zone, which resulted in Minnesota taking the lead 30-27.

Allen led the final drive of regulation, placing Buffalo in field goal range to tie the game. Tyler Bass connected on a 29-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.

In the extra play, Buffalo’s defense forced the Vikings into a field goal, which made the score 33-30. Buffalo’s final drive ended when Josh Allen threw his second interception on the day in the red zone.

The Buffalo Bills then snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with mistakes and undisciplined play and fell to 6-3 in the standings and third place in the AFC East.

The Bills will play two games in the next 11 days when they face off against the Cleveland Browns at Highmark Stadium next Sunday and then on the road to Detroit against the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.