Early Look: Vikings vs. Bills

EAGAN, Minn. — After a weird, wild and wacky tie against the Packers on Sunday, the Vikings now turn their attention to their first interconference game of the 2018 season.

Minnesota will host Buffalo on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Kickoff is at noon (CT).

The Vikings staged a furious rally at the end of regulation against Green Bay but neither team could score in overtime as the game ended in a 29-29 tie.

Minnesota is now 1-0-1 on the season as it prepares to welcome winless Buffalo to town.

The Bills are 0-2, and both losses have come by double digits.

Here’s a look at Minnesota’s Week 3 home game against Buffalo:

Passing: Kirk Cousins produced one of the best games of his career — and in Vikings history — in the stalemate against the Packers.

The quarterback completed 35 of 48 passes for 425 yards with four touchdowns and an interception. The 425 yards tied with Daunte Culpepper (at New Orleans, Oct. 17, 2004) for eighth-most in a game in Vikings history.

Cousins passer rating of 118.8 was the 10th-highest of his career when attempting at least 15 passes in a game. He also had his fourth-most passing yards in a regular-season game. It was the fourth time he’s thrown four touchdown passes in a game.

Buffalo started rookie Josh Allen, the 7th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, for the first time in Week 2.

Allen completed 18 of 33 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He had a passer rating of 63.3.

Rushing: The Vikings ran for 68 yards on 18 plays as they trailed most of the game and had to rely on the air attack.

Dalvin Cook led the Vikings with 38 yards on 10 carries, while Latavius Murray had 19 yards on four attempts. Each running back had a long of nine yards.

Bills running back LeSean McCoy had nine carries for 39 yards against the Chargers but left the game with an injury. Allen had 32 yards on eight attempts.

Marcus Murphy and Chris Ivory are also on the roster in Buffalo.

Receiving: Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs each surpassed the 100-yard mark in a game for the first time since they became teammates.

Thielen had 12 catches for 131 yards and a fourth-quarter score with 31 seconds left, while Diggs had nine receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Diggs’ scores were on 3- and 75-yard passes, and he also caught a 2-point conversion pass.

Kyle Rudolph added seven catches for 72 yards, and Cook had three catches for 52 yards. Laquon Treadwell had two catches for 23 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown, his first in the NFL.

The Vikings added to their wide receivers room Monday with the signing of Aldrick Robinson.

Bills wide receiver Zay Jones led Buffalo with two catches for 63 yards. Ivory had one catch for 30 yards. McCoy and tight end Charles Clay each had 29 receiving yards.

Defense: Minnesota’s defense had an up-and-down day against the Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The Vikings allowed 351 yards of offense but limited Green Bay to just one offensive touchdown and five field goals.

Danielle Hunter, Mackensie Alexander and David Parry had sacks for the Vikings, while Everson Griffen and Sheldon Richardson split a sack for the second straight week.

The Vikings did not force a turnover against the Packers, but held Green Bay to just for of 13 conversions on third down.

Buffalo allowed 31 points to the Chargers, and has given up 78 points through the first two weeks of the season, which is tied for last in the league with the Lions.

Lorenzo Alexander and Jerry Hughes had sacks against the Chargers, but Buffalo did not have an interception. In a unique move, Bills cornerback Vontae Davis retired at halftime in Week 2.

Special Teams: The Vikings special teams unit struggled at Lambeau Field. Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed three field goals, including two in overtime. His 35-yard try on the final play of overtime went wide right.

The Vikings released Carlson on Monday, and Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said the team will bring in kicker Dan Bailey for a physical.

Minnesota also had a punt blocked for a touchdown that gave the Packers an early 7-0 lead.

On a positive note, rookie Mike Hughes had a 46-yard kickoff return that set up a first-quarter score for Minnesota.

Bills kicker Steven Hauschka made both of his field goal attempts on Sunday. Punter Corey Bojorquez averaged 44.6 yards on five punts.

Over The Years

The Vikings are 8-5 all-time against Buffalo, a team Minnesota now plays once every four years. The schedule rotation began in 2002.

The Bills have had the upper hand of late by winning three of the past four matchups, although each of three Vikings losses have come by a touchdown or less.

Last meeting: Bills 17, Vikings 16, Oct. 29, 2014, in Buffalo

The Vikings couldn’t hold a late lead in Zimmer’s first season in Minnesota.

The Vikings led 16-10 but Buffalo scored with just a single second remaining as Sammy Watkins caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Orton to give the Vikings a crushing loss.

Minnesota built up 13-10 halftime lead thanks to a touchdown pass from Teddy Bridgewater to Cordarrelle Patterson and two field goals from Blair Walsh.

The kicker added another field goal early in the fourth quarter to give the Vikings a six-point lead, but Minnesota’s defense couldn’t hold on late as the Vikings dropped to 2-5 on the season.

Harrison Smith, Everson Griffen, Chad Greenway and Jasper Brinkley forced fumbles for the Vikings, with Anthony Barr recovering two of them and Robert Blanton falling on the other. Blanton also had Minnesota’s lone interception of the day.

Griffen had 3.0 sacks on the day. Linval Joseph, Tom Johnson and Sharrif Floyd also got to the Buffalo quarterback.

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