PFF Preview: Vikings @ Bills, Week 7

Both the Vikings and Bills hope to rebound after disappointing losses in Week 6. Bryson Vesnaver identifies the three key players from each side.

| 3 years ago

PFF Preview: Vikings @ Bills, Week 7

2014-Prev-WK07-MIN@BUFThe Vikings travel to Buffalo this Sunday to take on the Bills in this Week 7 matchup. The Vikings have had a rough start to the season but are looking to turn things around while the Bills are hoping to bounce back from a tough home loss in Week 6.

Bills’ defensive end Jerry Hughes is likely chomping at the bit in anticipation for this game. Often forgotten on a defensive line full of stars, Hughes lets his play do the talking for him. Through six games, Hughes has five sacks, five QB hits, and 13 QB hurries, all of which are team-highs. His Pass Rush Productivity of 11.0 is sixth-best among 4-3 defensive ends.

The Vikings should be nervous, as Hughes rushes the edge on the right side which means left tackle Matt Kalil will be tasked with blocking him. Kalil has had an awful start to the season, his overall grade of -19.7 the worst in the league among tackles. He has especially struggled pass blocking, allowing 25 total pressures for a league-worst (among all offensive line positions) 91.6 Pass Blocking Efficiency. Look for a healthy dose of pass blocking from Rhett Ellison and Matt Asiata to help Kalil handle Hughes. Here are some other players to keep an eye on:

Minnesota Vikings

Harrison Smith – Smith has an overall grade of +7.6, third-best among NFL safeties. His three interceptions are tied for the league-high at the position.

Jerome Felton – Felton’s +2.2 run blocking grade is the highest among fullbacks in the league. That grade makes up 100% of his overall grade, which puts him second at his position.

Everson Griffin – Griffin’s 11 run stops are tied for second-most among 4-3 defensive ends, giving him the eighth-best Run Stop Percentage of 7.9%.

Buffalo Bills

Kyle Orton – Through two games as the starter, Orton is averaging a full yard per attempt more than E.J. Manuel was, and 59.8% of his yards thrown have come through the air (before catch), compared to 34.5% of Manuel’s.

Kyle D. Williams – An overall grade of +14.5 puts Williams third among defensive tackles. He is one of only two players to have a Run Stop Percentage of at least 8.9% and a Pass Rush Productivity score of at least 9.5.

Mario Williams – Williams has made eight solo run stops, giving him the seventh-best Run Stop Percentage among 4-3 defensive ends.

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Bryson has been an analyst at Pro Football Focus since 2014, and has also been a contributor to 120 Sports.

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