I honestly could write two different reports on the Bills 17-16 win over the Vikings. It was in no way a good game for the offense, at least not for the first 56 minutes and 53 seconds of action as Fred Jackson and CJ Spiller were both carted off, the O-line gave up 5 sacks and the Bills had managed just 10 points while turning the ball over 4 times.
The Bills defense however, did an excellent job in holding Minnesota to 16 points despite the often good field position given to the Vikings by the a fore mentioned turnovers. So although for the overwhelming majority of the game, the Bills had not really played well enough to win, with 3 minutes to go in the fourth quarter they still had a chance. A chance the Kyle Orton capitalized on perfectly with a 15-play 80-yard game-winning drive. I say Orton capitalized perfectly, but it would not have been possible without a huge fourth down grab by Scott Chandler, right after he had a bad drop on 3rd, an amazing Chris “Hulk” Hogan catch, likely the best of his career, and Sammy Watkins. Watkins beat his man for the game-winning 2-yard TD catch, his second of the game, with just one second left to play.
Grading the offense this week is extremely hard for all those reason I’ve already listed, they weren’t good until the final drive, but Orton still ended up with 283 passing yards and two TDs while Watkins went over 100 yards receiving for the second time this season, catching both scores. The run game wasn’t good, but gained over 100 yards and with Jackson and Spiller both hurt, that is excusable. The one facet that I can’t overlook though, the four turnovers. Three fumbles is way to many and Orton’s interception was a throw he shouldn’t have missed so poorly on. With all of that being said, I think grading the Bills offense as a B- is the right call. Heavily influenced by the last drive I know, but it has to be… It was that impressive.
Defensively, it was a much easier task to figure out a grade. This unit came in at a solid B+. They didn’t stop the run very well, but allowed just 150 yards receiving and thanks to a couple heads up plays by Leodis McKelvin, forced two turnovers on interceptions. Part of the reason the secondary was so effective is the pressure created by the defensive line – they wreaked havoc with 5 sacks and 8 QB hits. They also did an amazing job of keeping the Vikings from finding the end zone. Their play is the reason the Bills had a chance to go on the game-winning drive.
Samuelson Slant Grade: B
*I had a hard time grading the team this week. Watching the game there was no way I thought I’d go higher than a C, but when you look at the numbers and consider the comeback, game-winning drive, a B seems right*
As always, I ask for your thoughts though Bills Mafia, did I allow the win to make my grade to high? Should I have weighted the turnovers more heavily? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.