Week 10 NFL: Previewing the Minnesota Vikings-Buffalo Bills matchup


Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills

This will truly be the first good team the Vikings have faced since they were beaten by the Eagles 24-7 in Week 2, their only loss of the season. Since then, Minnesota has beaten the Lions by four points, the Saints by three, the Bears by seven, the Dolphins by eight, the Cardinals by eight and the Commanders by 3 points.

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The Vikings’ only other victory was in Week 1 over the Packers and we know that team is pretty bad, too. Through eight games and having faced that schedule, the Vikings have managed to be 17th in yards per play on offense, 22nd in yards per play on defense, 16th in converting third downs offensively, 20th in defensive passer rating, 18th in Total DVOA and last in red zone defense. Their 7-1 record looks much better than what the numbers say about this team.

The Bills were the big upset victim of the week Sunday, falling to the Jets as double-digit road favorites. You would expect this team to bounce back at home. However, I made a mental note two weeks ago about how pathetic the Bills looked in the second half of their win over the Packers. What was once the best rushing defense in the league has now given up 174 and 208 yards on the ground in its last two games. Josh Allen has thrown four interceptions in his last two games and may have an injured elbow.

Absolutely, this is still a top-5 team, if not top-2, but they have begun to show some flaws. I believe the Vikings have the offense to exploit some of Buffalo’s weaknesses, but I’m not sure the Minnesota defense can do enough to get this team an outright win. The Jets beat the Bills with excellent defense, an efficient passing game and a stout rushing attack. The Vikings can do two of those three, but they aren’t near excellent on defense.

This game was Bills -9.5 on the look-ahead line and opened Bills -8. It is currently Bills -6, which is exactly where my initial numbers come to. The betting public will probably back the Bills like they do every week — and in this case, expect them to explode positively off of a loss. I would say 5 or 6 looks to be the right number here and a Buffalo win by that margin wouldn’t surprise me.

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