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Vikings vs. Bills: Numbers, PFF Grades & Preview

NFL Regular Season Week 3: Minnesota Vikings vs. Buffalo Bills

As you may have heard, the Vikings are HUGE favorites this week. The spread has the Minnesota Vikings (1-0-1) by 16.5 over the Buffalo Bills (0-2) on Sunday. In nearly every facet and statistic, as you will see shortly, the Bills are outmatched. It’s almost as if Buffalo should have actually gone to Wisconsin to avoid getting embarrassed (any further) by the Vikings.

Fortunately for Buffalo, football is football, and nothing is certain on any given Sunday. Tomorrow at noon at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, the Bills will give it their best shot against a Vikings team with Super Bowl aspirations.

This week, Minnesota made a number of roster moves after rallying to a tie with division rival Green Bay last weekend. The Vikings signed the second-most accurate kicker in league history, ditched their 5th-round rookie kicker after he missed three field goals (two of which were potential game-winners), waived a second-year receiver following some crucial dropped passes, brought in a deep threat and upgraded their defensive line rotation by bringing back a locker room favorite.

While the Vikings were busy addressing their weaknesses and reinforcing certain positions, the Bills have been busy trying to keep it together. Lately, things haven’t gone very smoothly for Buffalo. Here’s a few examples:

  • Starting cornerback Vontae Davis retired last week, AT HALFTIME
  • Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier (former Vikings head coach) was seemingly stripped of his play-calling duties at the same time
  • Running back LeSean McCoy has 61 rushing yards, in two games
  • Zay Jones (brother of former Vikings receiver Cayleb Jones) is the team’s leading receiver, with 89 yards
  • Rookie quarterback Josh Allen was forced into action — he’s been sacked eight times
  • The defense has allowed ten touchdowns in two games
  • The hilarious social media blunder above

It sure seems like my made-up adage “kick a team when it’s down” applies in this situation. But for Buffalo, a team that made the playoffs last season, it’s not over yet. The season is young, and the Vikings could have their hands full with a team that really doesn’t have much else to lose at this point.

All signs may be pointing in Minnesota’s favor, but don’t expect Buffalo to throw in the towel without a fight. Without further adieu, let’s take a look at how the teams stack up by the numbers.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS

  • The Vikings home record in 2018 is 1-0

Notable Pro Football Focus grades

  • QB Kirk Cousins: 90.8 (#4)
  • WR Stefon Diggs: 77.9 (#15)
  • WR Adam Thielen: 83.2 (#9)
  • TE Kyle Rudolph: 64.2 (#20)
  • CB Xavier Rhodes: 67.8 (#38)
  • LB Anthony Barr: 71.1 (#20)
  • DE Danielle Hunter: 61.5 (#47)
  • DT Linval Joseph: 75.6 (#24)
  • DT Sheldon Richardson: 84.6 (#10)

2018 team offense

  • Total offense: 5th (411.5 YPG)
  • Passing: 5th (319.5 YPG)
  • Rushing: 14th (116.0 YPG)
  • Scoring: 11th (26.5 PPG)
  • Turnover ratio: 6th (+2)
  • Third down conversions: 5th (45%)
  • Red zone percentage: 13th (60%)

2018 offensive leaders

  • Passing: QB Kirk Cousins: 669 yards with 6 TD’s and 1 INT
  • Rushing yards: RB Dalvin Cook: 78
  • Receiving yards: WR Adam Thielen: 233
  • Receiving TD’s: WR Stefon Diggs: 3

2018 team defense

  • Total defense: 15th (339.0 YPG)
  • Passing: 16th (245.0 YPG)
  • Rushing: 22nd (92.0 YPG)
  • Scoring: 17th (22.5 PPG)
  • Third-down conversions: 17th (38%)
  • Red zone percentage: 5th (25%)
  • Passing allowed to opposing QB’s: 542 yards with 2 TD & 3 INTs
  • Rushing allowed to opposing RB’s: 174 yards & 0 TD’s
  • Receiving allowed to opposing WR’s: 271 yards & 2 TD’s
  • Receiving allowed to opposing TE’s: 189 yards & 0 TD’s

2018 defensive leaders

  • Tackles: S Harrison Smith: 12
  • Sacks: DE Danielle Hunter: 2
  • Interceptions: S Harrison Smith, CB Mike Hughes and CB Xavier Rhodes: 1


BUFFALO BILLS

  • Buffalo’s away record in 2018 is 0-1

Notable Pro Football Focus grades

  • QB Josh Allen: 50.7 (#29)
  • WR Kelvin Benjamin: 53.7 (#89)
  • RB LeSean McCoy: 63.0 (#25)
  • S Micah Hyde: 64.9 (#37)
  • LB Tremaine Edmunds: 33.0 (#69)
  • LB Matt Milano: 73.7 (#15)
  • DT Kyle Williams: 70.2 (#39)
  • DT Harrison Phillips: 75.1 (#26)
  • LB Lorenzo Alexander: 87.6 (#4)

2018 team offense

  • Total offense: 31st (223.0 YPG)
  • Passing: 31st (139.5 YPG)
  • Rushing: 25th (83.5 YPG)
  • Scoring: 31st (11.5 PPG)
  • Turnover ratio: 30th (-3)
  • Third-down conversions: 30th (24%)
  • Red zone percentage: 22nd (50%)

2018 offensive leaders

  • Passing: QB Josh Allen: 319 yards with 1 TD & 2 INT’s
  • Rushing yards: RB LeSean McCoy: 61
  • Rushing TD’s: RB Chris Ivory: 1
  • Receiving yards: WR Zay Jones: 89
  • Receiving TD’s: WR Kelvin Benjamin: 1

2018 team defense

  • Total defense: 19th (359.0 YPG)
  • Passing: 17th (246.0 YPG)
  • Rushing: 22nd (113.0 YPG)
  • Scoring: T-31st (39.0 PPG)
  • Third-down conversions: 20th (41%)
  • Red zone percentage: 5th (25%)
  • Passing allowed to opposing QB’s: 516 yards & 6 TD’s
  • Rushing allowed to opposing RB’s: 179 yards & 4 TD’s
  • Receiving allowed to opposing WR’s: 278 yards & 4 TD’s
  • Receiving allowed to opposing TE’s: 158 yards & 0 TD’s

2018 defensive leaders

  • Tackles: LB Lorenzo Alexander: 11
  • Sacks: LB Lorenzo Alexander, LB Tremaine Edmunds, DE Jerry Hughes: 1
  • Interceptions: N/A

  • Sunday’s game is at noon (CST) and will be shown locally on CBS 4
  • Stats courtesy of NFL.com and Pro Football Reference
  • NEXT WEEK: Vikings at Rams

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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