ReFo: Vikings @ Bills, Week 7
In this Week 7 matchup, the Bills were trying to get back over the .500 mark, while the visiting Vikings were trying to right the ship after a couple of division losses. It was a very uneven game for the most part, with both defensive lines in control until Buffalo took over with less than four minutes left, down by six points.
Kyle Orton led the Bills on a terrific 15-play 80-yard drive to win the game with just one second left on a touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins, his second of the contest. During the drive, which looked doomed on multiple occasions (thanks to two sacks and two penalties on the Bills), Buffalo was even able to convert a 4th-and-20 play to keep hope alive. An amazing catch by wide receiver Chris Hogan set the Bills up at the 2-yard line with just five seconds left, and from there the Orton to Watkins connection was able to hook up for the game-winner.
Minnesota Vikings – Performances of Note
Shariff Floyd, DT: +1.5
Breakdown: Floyd had his best game of the season so far, and was a major part of the defensive line that kept Orton on the run for much of the game. He managed an impressive five quarterback pressures, including one sack, two hits and two hurries in just 44 snaps. That was good enough for a terrific Pass Rush Productivity of 13.3.
Signature Play: Q3, 9:40 remaining. Here Floyd uses his speed to get around right guard Erik Pears, who is left grabbing cloth as Floyd delivers the big hit on Orton.
Chad Greenway, LB: +3.6
Breakdown: Greenway saw his first action since Week 3, and looked solid despite the layoff. In coverage he allowed just two receptions for 29 yards, and was equally stout in the run game, with four stops out of nine total tackles.
Signature Play: Q1, 9:26 remaining. Greenway comes up with a huge play on Buffalo’s opening possession, forcing the first turnover of the game as the Bills were driving. After Bills receiver Chris Hogan hauls in a short completion, Greenway is able to punch the ball out of his hands from behind after he turns upfield.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB: -5.2
Breakdown: Every rookie quarterback is going to have growing pains, and this was one of those games for Bridgewater. He struggled with his accuracy against Buffalo, even when you take into account the pressure the Bills’ defensive line put on him. He finished just 15 of 26 for 157 yards, with two interceptions to go along with one touchdown. He was actually at his best against the blitz, completing seven of nine passes, but was just 8 of 17 when the Bills sent their standard rush. He was sacked five out of the 11 total times he was under pressure.
Signature Stat: Both of Bridgewater’s interceptions came in the same area of the field, to the right outside the numbers, between 10 and 19 yards downfield.
Buffalo Bills – Performances of Note
Sammy Watkins, WR: +3.0
Breakdown: Watkins has had a very up-and-down season so far, but this was an outstanding performance he put up against the Vikings. He had nine receptions (in 14 targets) for 122 yards and two touchdowns, setting personal bests in all three categories. He looked extremely quick in and out of breaks all afternoon.
Signature Play: Q2, 9:28 remaining. On his first touchdown grab of the day, he jumps inside on the go-route, giving Orton a good angle to hit him on at the goal line, beating Captain Munnerlyn for the touchdown.
Jerry Hughes, DE: +2.5
Breakdown: Hughes managed his fourth straight game at +1.0 or higher against Minnesota, and continued to show quickness off the edge. He got to Bridgewater twice for sacks, and added three stops in the run game.
Signature Play: Q4, 13:35 remaining. On first-and-goal for the Vikings, Hughes puts an inside move on left tackle Ryan Kalil and is immediately on Bridgewater for the sack.
Cordy Glenn, LT: -2.4 (Pass block)
Breakdown: Glenn had an off day in pass protection against the Vikings, putting up his worst performance of the season by far in that category. He allowed four total pressures, including two sacks, one hit and one hurry, struggling to deal with the speed moves of defenders like Everson Griffin and Anthony Barr.
Signature Stat: After finishing tied for fourth last year in Pass Blocking Efficiency among offensive tackles, Glenn is currently 24th out of 55.
Sammy Watkins gets our game ball for his career (albeit early) performance against the Vikings.