Would a Vikings Win in Buffalo Solidify Legitimacy?

So, How Many More Games Will These Vikings Win?
Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Yes, at this point, it’s anyone’s guess who starts under center for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon. Josh Allen is a superstar but dealing with a UCL injury to his throwing elbow. Case Keenum has won big games before but is a career backup. Even if they face the lesser quarterback, a win has to mean something substantial, right?

All season long, the narrative surrounding the Vikings has been that their win total does not reflect their true talent level. Given the need to come back and win so many close games, that’s probably a fair assessment. Having faced three backup quarterbacks and staring at a potential fourth Sunday, they also don’t benefit from playing teams at full strength.

Still, there’s never anything easy about winning on the road or beating good teams.

When the Kevin O’Connell-led Vikings went down to South Beach, they didn’t face Tua but still had to tangle with the dangerous duo of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Sure, they got the Arizona Cardinals at home, and Kyler Murray was probably strung out on Call of Duty, but they had to face DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore. The Packers have looked like a bad team this year, but Minnesota still embarrassed them in Week 1.

What the Media Is Saying about the 5-1 Vikings
Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Yes, it’s absolutely fair to discredit the win some should Allen not play, but Minnesota enters as a 3.5-point road underdog per online bookmaker Bovada. That’s not an insignificant amount, and it’s certainly indicative of a team with no guarantees when facing the Bills Mafia.

Maybe the Vikings aren’t winning as convincingly as the Philadelphia Eagles team that dumped them early this season, but they are also in a league of their own as the lone undefeated team left in the NFL. Minnesota’s goal doesn’t have to be to win pretty or convincingly every week. After all, the only stat that truly matters is the “W” in the win column.

Our Staff Guide for Cardinals at Vikings
Sep 19, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook. Mandatory Credit: Billy Hardiman-USA TODAY Sports.

At this point, Minnesota is all but guaranteed to make the playoffs. It would take a colossal, Minnesota-esque, to be fair, collapse for them not to. They need to be healthy and ready for anything when they face the league’s best in a win-or-go-home situation, but being battle tested against difficult scenarios like the one they’ll face in Buffalo sets up future opportunities.

It’d be great if the Vikings went and rocked Josh Allen this weekend in Buffalo. If that doesn’t happen, however, besting a good defense and talented offense is nothing to be disappointed about, either.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.