Bills fall to 6-3 after brutal overtime loss to Vikings, 33-30

A very strange, very frustrating loss for the Buffalo Bills brings their record to 6-3 after losing 33-30 in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings. A wild comeback led to an even wilder back-and-forth at the end of the game, ultimately resulting in overtime and a Vikings victory. All week leading up to this game there was concern about Josh Allen’s elbow injury and in the first half it looked like Allen would pull through and win a game against a good Vikings team.

But ultimately the influence of the Bills, Josh Allen and Buffalo at the helm of the AFC East has collapsed.

Below we take a look at an inspirational group of young players, a positional group that’s causing some requests (again), a normally outstanding group that requires better performance, and the most tiresome part of the game for the Bills.

Inspire – Young DBs:

TThe Bills were put in a difficult position with Kaiir Elam’s ankle injury and Jaquan Johnson’s poor safety game against the Jets last week. The Bills had to make some tough decisions, opting to play Christian Benford and Dane Jackson at CB and benching Jaquan Johnson in favor of Cam Lewis for safety (a position he hasn’t played in the regular season before). ). Despite a tricky situation late in the game, Benford, Jackson and Lewis all played relatively well, with Benford and Jackson both boasting INTs. It certainly wasn’t a perfect performance and by late fourth quarter and OT there was only so much they could do to stop them, but they had the difficult task of marking and defending Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, KJ Osborn and TJ Hockenson Dalvin Cook also in the ground game. They ultimately played well enough to keep the Bills in the game. It speaks to the Bills’ ability to train their DBs to at least play at a reasonable level.

Request – activation of 6 RBs:

The Bills had to make many decisions this year in a very crowded running back room. That Singletary is the leadback has been obvious since week 1. James Cook is the substitute and Taiwan Jones is an elite special teams shooter. After trading Zack Moss and a sixth-round pick for Nyheim Hines at the close of trade, it was clear they felt the space needed an upgrade. Obviously Moss hasn’t worked, but Hines and Cook bring broadly the same basic skillset and fill the same theoretical role. Hines has more craziness and recoil while Cook has more straight-line speed, but both are certainly considered fast recoils. To add even more redundancy to those skills, the Bills decided to activate Duke Johnson from the practice team, who’s another fast, dodgy player coming back with some return ability. It’s not that each of the players is necessarily bad – each had their moments in that game right now – but what brings Johnson to this offense that doesn’t exist yet? What will the split between Cook and Hines look like in the future? Will Ken Dorsey commit to singletary for more than a few rides at a time? Where does the cook-factor snaps matter? It’s getting dangerously close to a “too many cooks in the kitchen” situation, and the Bills should start figuring out who *must* be on the field.

Require – Pass Rush:

The Bills’ pass rush, which was pretty good especially with the addition of Von Miller, was largely absent today. Cousins ​​had plenty of time to throw the ball and when not throwing straight at Bill’s defender he was effective as a passer. Greg Rousseau’s absence is certainly important, but for a team that’s very deep on the defensive line it shouldn’t have allowed Cousins ​​to be as comfortable as he is. A couple of sacks towards the end of the rule before a wonderful Justin Jefferson catch was ultimately wasted and doesn’t make up for the lack of sacks and pressure throughout the game.

Irk – Short Yardage Situations:

Two critical situations for the Bills in Regulation, which could be considered a short yardage variety, were botched. The first was a fourth and two in the fourth quarter from the Minnesota seven-yard line; Allen threw an ugly interception to Patrick Peterson in the end zone. Ultimately, the problem isn’t the INT, since an incomplete is largely the same outcome, it’s the Bills’ struggles with short-yard situations on offense throughout the season. The Bills were clearly unwilling to use Allen for planned QB runs this game due to his elbow injury, but even if he’s healthy and has the running risk/willingness to use planned runs, the Bills have been in situations with fought at close range.

While this second situation isn’t technically a short-yard situation, it’s a play that would normally be called in these situations, and the Bills botched it to the Nth degree. In the final moments of regulation, the Bills’ defense stopped the Vikings at Buffalo’s half-yard line and sneakily kept Kirk Cousins ​​out of the end zone. The Bills blew a sneak of their own on the very next play when Allen fumbled the Mitch Morse snap in his own end zone. Eric Kendricks dropped the ball and gave Minnesota the momentary lead. Ultimately, the Bills have a mobile QB, the skill players and enough power at OL to win in these situations and they consistently fail. It’s not one or the other, it’s bad decisions from everyone, odd calls from Dorsey and skillful players failing to make their 1/11. It’s a team issue in a team game and the team needs to figure out how to fix it, and fast.

The Bills are staying home to play the Cleveland Browns next week at 1:00 p.m. The race for AFC East has intensified at the top as the Dolphins have passed the division and the Jets are just 0.5 games behind and the Bills have slipped to third place after that latest loss. A comfortable lead and playoff tiebreaks over the other division leaders only matter when you’re running your own division, and the Bills haven’t been able to do that. There is still plenty of football to play, including four more division games, but the Bills must now find ways to climb back to the top rather than just defending their position.

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