What Minnesota Needs to Emulate Buffalo’s Success

Sep 23, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

On Saturday night, a game was supposed to be defined by the frigid weather. Instead, the Buffalo Bills told another story.

Buffalo’s Historically Great Offensive Performance

Buffalo scored touchdowns on their first seven possessions of the game en route to a dominating 47-17 victory over a very strong New England team.

New England entered the game with the 4th best defense in terms of EPA/play allowed over the 2021 season, but Buffalo didn’t care, averaging .72 EPA/play in the frigid cold.

A Championship Mindset

What impressed and excited me the most about Buffalo’s approach is they didn’t stop playing offense with a two-touchdown lead. They didn’t stop playing offense with a three-touchdown lead. No, they didn’t even stop playing offense after going up 34-3 early in the 3rd quarter. They didn’t stop playing offense the entire game. They just kept scoring and scoring and scoring.

That type of killer mentality is what Minnesota needs. Too often in previous seasons has Minnesota gained a lead, only to resort to an offense designed to eat time off the clock, leading to decreased efficiency and more punting, which ended up letting their opponents back into the game. The Bills scored 47 points on Saturday night. During the entire Mike Zimmer era, the Vikings scored 47+ points only once, back in 2015.

Obviously, the Bills are supremely talented on offense, they developed an amazing game plan, and they executed exceptionally well. All facets of their team performed at a high level, allowing them to blowout a strong opponent, and having a good team that performs well when it matters is the most important need for a great franchise.

But the mindset Buffalo displayed throughout their victory is what should scare the rest of the AFC, the rest of the NFL for that matter. Buffalo was not going to lose that game. They didn’t change their game plan after going up by multiple scores. They just kept their foot on the gas and pounded the Patriots into submission.

As a Vikings fan, wouldn’t you love to face the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, and just score and score and score and score, pound the stupid green and gold into the dust, make their fans log off Twitter for a month? Of course, you would. That’s what we dream of.

How Minnesota Can Establish this Mindset: Leadership

Whether Minnesota ends up hiring Bills OC Brian Daboll or not — at the time of this writing, the Vikings have yet to formally request to interview Daboll – what they need is the type of mindset that Daboll, along with HC Sean McDermott and QB Josh Allen, displayed in their game against New England. The Vikings need to find leaders like Buffalo has, that aren’t afraid to make mistakes, they aren’t afraid of being too risky, and they will do anything to achieve great results. Then those leaders need to instill that philosophy in the entire organization, the philosophy that it doesn’t matter what you did on the last play. What matters is what you do on the next play.

Buffalo has a great, talented team and great talented coaches. But what fuels their success is something bigger, a philosophy built out of anticipation for victory, not fear of defeat. A philosophy that steps on the tiger’s neck and doesn’t let up until the tiger never breathes again.