MINNEAPOLIS — Week 3 proved to be topsy-turvy and turnovery for the Vikings.
Minnesota suffered a 27-6 home loss to Buffalo on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium after a pair of turnovers deep inside Vikings territory led to 10 of 17 first-quarter points to the previously winless Bills (1-2).
Kirk Cousins was sacked by Trent Murphy on Minnesota's third play of the game. Murphy forced a fumble by his former Redskins teammate, and Lorenzo Alexander recovered the ball at the Minnesota 15-yard line.
The Vikings (1-1-1) defense limited the Bills to a 30-yard field goal on that drive, but had to return to action three players later.
Cousins was sacked by Jerry Hughes on a third-and-8, and linebacker Matt Milano recovered the ball at the Minnesota 25.
After losing a yard on a tackle, rookie Josh Allen found a wide open Jason Croom for a 26-yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game.
Cousins finished 40-of-55 with 296 yards, a touchdown, an interception and a passer rating of 83.6.
Adam Thielen caught 14 passes for 105 yards, passing the 200-career catch mark during the day.
Kyle Rudolph and C.J. Ham each had five receptions for 48 and 47 yards, respectively, but the Bills limited Stefon Diggs to 17 yards on four receptions and 10 targets.
Allen completed 15 of 22 passes for 196 yards and a touchdown for a rating of 111.2. He rushed 10 times for 39 yards, which included scores of 10 and 1.
Minnesota rushed just six times for a total of 14 yards.
Buffalo rushed 38 times for a total of 128 yards. Chris Ivory led the Bills with 56 yards on 20 rushes and had a 55-yard reception on a second-and-17 to end the first quarter.
The Vikings didn't run a play in Bills territory until 9:36 remained in the third quarter. It was an incompletion in the end zone on a deep toss to Diggs.
The second play from the Buffalo 42-yard line was a deflected interception that bounced off Latavius Murray and into Milano's belly.
The Vikings disastrous first half included:
Minnesota allowing 13 first downs and earning two;
The Bills converting 3-of-7 on third downs, compared to 1-for-6;
Buffalo totaling 245 net yards, almost 200 more than Minnesota's 46;
Six Vikings penalties for 59 yards.
The penalties had extra weight.
A lowering-the-helmet-to-initiate-contact penalty against Linval Joseph on the third play of the game turned a sack by Eric Wilson into a new set of downs at the Buffalo 46.
A horse collar tackle penalty on Anthony Barr during a run by Allen changed what would have been a third-and-goal at the 16 into a first-and-goal at the 8. Allen reached the ball across the goal line on fourth-and-1 shortly thereafter.
Add it all up, and the Vikings are heading to Los Angeles to face the Rams on a short week and packing a solid home win, a rally to tie at Green Bay and an rough home loss in a game in which the entered as a favorite by more than two touchdowns.
Q1, 10:01 remaining
Bills 7, Vikings 0
Josh Allen scrambles for a 10-yard touchdown (Stephen Hauschka kick) [9 plays, 75 yards, 4:59]
Second chance: The Vikings appeared to have a quick three-and-out after a sack by Eric Wilson, but a lowering-the-helmet-to-initiate-contact penalty against Linval Joseph gave Buffalo a fresh set of downs. The Bills didn't face a third down again on their opening drive.
Q1, 7:24 remaining
Bills 10, Vikings 0
Hauschka kicks a 30-yard field goal [4 plays, 4 yards, 1:57]
Taking a gift: Buffalo was able to add to its lead with a 30-yard field goal after the first of two fumbles by Kirk Cousins.
View game action images as the Vikings take on the Buffalo Bills at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Q1, 5:09 remaining
Bills 17, Vikings 0
Jason Croom catches a 26-yard touchdown from Allen (Hauschka kick) [2 plays, 25 yards, 0:48]
Capitalizing again: The Bills turned Minnesota's second consecutive turnover into a touchdown in just two plays, taking advantage of the great starting field possession.
Q2, 12:14 remaining
Bills 24, Vikings 0
Allen dives for a 1-yard touchdown (Hauschka kick) [11 plays, 65 yards, 5:45]
Another costly penalty: A horse collar tackle penalty on Anthony Barr on a 2-yard run by Allen (on a second-and-goal from the 18) gave the Bills a new set of downs at the 8.
Q2, 6:16 remaining
Bills 27, Vikings 0
Hauschka kicks a 50-yard field goal. [8 plays, 17 yards, 3:46]
Third plus-territory possession: Buffalo managed just 17 yards, but that was enough to get in field-goal range after starting the drive at the Minnesota 48, the third possession first half.
Q4, 2:59 remaining
Bills 27, Vikings 6
Kyle Rudolph catches a 14-yard pass from Cousins (conversion pass no good) [13 plays, 92 yards, 4:20]