Greg Joseph’s 33-yard field goal in overtime provided the difference as the Vikings pulled off an improbable 33-30 victory over the Bills at Highmark Stadium after a series of events that can only be charitably described as “messy.”
After forcing a three-and-out on Buffalo’s first possession, Minnesota took an early lead on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson. Jefferson had a 46-yard reception earlier in the drive to set up the score, and the Vikings took an early 7-0 lead less than five minutes later.
Buffalo answered quickly on their next drive, with a 5-yard touchdown run from Devin Singletary to tie things up at 7-7. After a three-and-out from the Vikings offense, Singletary found the end zone again, this time from a yard out to make the score 14-7 just before the end of the quarter.
Cousins was then intercepted by Bills CB Christian Benford and the Bills got the ball back in quick fashion in the Minnesota red zone. The Vikings’ defense finally stood up and limited the damage for Tyler Bass’ 34-yard field goal to extend the lead to 17-7 early in the second quarter.
The Vikings took a 17-10 lead midway through the second quarter on a 27-yard field goal by Greg Joseph. Then, the Vikings’ defense made a big play as freshman Aquilab Evans forced a fumble that was retired by Camryn Bynum and carried into Buffalo territory.
Buffalo came up short on 4th-and-1 from the 28, however, and the Vikings failed to capitalize on the turnover. Field, unopposed, entered the end zone on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Josh Allen to Gabriel Davis and went into the locker room at halftime to extend the lead to 24-10.
On the Vikings’ first drive of the second half, Cousins threw his second interception of the day, directly into the hands of Dane Jackson, to end what looked like a promising layup for what would be his worst pass for a Viking. Vote.
Buffalo extended their lead late in the third quarter on Tyler Bass’ 45-yard field goal to make it 27-10 with 1:51 left in the third quarter. Later, the Vikings got a quick answer as Dalvin Cook took a handoff from Kirk Cousins and did all the work, taking the ball 81 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest drive of his career and the Vikings trailed 27-17 with a minute and a half left in the third quarter.
Dalvin Cook 81 yard TD, looks like mid zone to B gap bubble. The C and LG double to the LB, the WR blocks the spinning S, and Cook makes his own blocker to miss the 1 and clear the angle for the TD. pic.twitter.com/0fiCxBeX6S
— Shawn (@syedschemes) November 13, 2022
The Bills looked like they had a chance to put the game away, but on 4th-and-2 from the Minnesota 7-yard line, Allen intercepted a pass in the end zone and Patrick Peterson picked off the ball. Minnesota 34-yard line.
Minnesota cashed in on the turnover, capping a long drive with a 3-yard touchdown run by CJ Hamm! There was an extra point. . .missed by Greg Joseph, which was huge because it made it a four-point game, 27-23, rather than a four-point game.
The Vikings forced a three-and-out from the Bills to get the ball back, and seemed to lose hope on a 4th-and-18 in Vikings territory. . .until Justin Jefferson made the greatest catch in NFL history.
That kept the drive alive, eventually leading to a 4th-and-goal from inside the 1 on a play that Jefferson ruled short of the goal line. Cousins ran a quarterback sneak and was ruled short of the goal line, and it looked like he might have been in. It was a turnover on downs, and they gave the ball back to the Bills with less than a minute to kneel. Off the clock.
But instead, Josh Allen fumbled the snap under center and Eric Kendricks recovered the loose ball for a Vikings touchdown! That’s right. . .Somehow, the Vikings took an improbable lead 30-27 with 41 seconds left.
The Bills still had some time to get into field goal range, and that’s what they did, hitting Tyler Paz on a 29-yard field goal attempt to tie the game at 30 and send the game into overtime.
Minnesota won the overtime toss, and Greg Joseph’s 33-yard field goal made it 33-30 with 3:45 left in the game. But Buffalo got another shot with the football, and got down to the Minnesota 20-yard line, but Patrick Peterson intercepted Allen back in the end zone to seal it for the Vikings.
The Vikings moved their record to 8-1 on the year and ran their winning streak to seven games and will host Dallas Cowboys Next week in the Sunday afternoon window. The Bills drop their record to 6-3 and will host Cleveland Browns Next week.
The Minnesota Vikings won one of the worst regular season games in team history, defeating the Buffalo Bills in overtime by a final score of 36-30. Thanks to everyone who contributed information about this week’s game in The Daily Norseman!