News writers offer predictions for Bills vs. Vikings

Here’s how news writers see Sunday’s game between the Bills and the Minnesota Vikings. The Bills are favored by 3.5 points according to FanDuel.com:

Jay Skurski: The Bills’ season-long battle with injuries continues, with no end in sight. That game would be tough enough to hamper if quarterback Josh Allen played, given the sudden identity crisis facing the team’s offense. With Allen’s chances of playing shrinking significantly after a second consecutive missed practice Thursday, things get a little easier.

Minnesota (7-1) runs and hides in the NFC North. The Vikings have a top-notch running back, Dalvin Cook, and we know the Bills have had massive problems stopping the run in recent weeks. Minnesota also has dynamic No. 1 wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who is one of the top two or three players in the league at his position, and a new tight-end gun, TJ Hockenson, was acquired in a recent trade with Detroit. The Vikings rank eighth in offense scoring and 12th in points allowed per game. They’re also one of the hottest teams in the league, coming off a six-game win streak.

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Meanwhile, the Bills have to adjust to life without Allen, at least temporarily. While everyone at One Bills Drive says all the right things about relying on backup quarterback Case Keenum, there’s going to be a lot of stress for a Buffalo offense that relies on their quarterback for almost everything, even for Allen a game does not have. To win without Allen, the Bills need their most complete game of the season from all three stages. The recent form would suggest that we shouldn’t expect that. Vikings, 27-17.

Catherine Fitzgerald: The Bills have 25 offensive touchdowns this season. Josh Allen threw 19 of them, and he ran in another four. The other two? A rushing touchdown from rookie running back James Cook against Pittsburgh and one from wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie.

If Allen is unable to leave, which seems more likely as the week progresses, this Buffalo team looks very different. It’s hard to predict at this point but we expect Case Keenum to meet his former team. The Bills will inevitably have to make some adjustments as everyone plays quarterback a little differently. I expect Stefon Diggs to have a great day.

Defenses can also be depleted, and receiver Justin Jefferson can rip through opposing defenses. Still, the NFL is weird, and I feel like the Bills are stronger overall despite having many potential starters. The game plan might be duller without Allen, but I’ll pick her to survive this potential test. Bills, 24-21.

Markus Gaugan: The guess is that Josh Allen, Jordan Poyer and Tremaine Edmunds are all not playing. How much offense can Case Keenum cause? It’s a mystery. I think he can bring the Bills 20 points. If he reaches 24 points, the Bills win.

The Vikings have good offensive tackles. A recipe for a Bills win involves stopping the game in progress from the outside and heating up Kirk Cousins. This can create third down stops. Buffalo must dominate the interior of the Minnesota trench, where the Vikings center guards Ed Ingram and Ezra Cleveland and Garrett Bradbury. The Vikings haven’t been that impressive this season despite their 7-1 record. With Allen and Edmunds on the field, I would pick the bills in double digits. Without them it’s Vikings, 21-20.


Bill's defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier stands firm before confronting his former team

The need to improve is paramount for Frazier as he sets up the Bills defense for the Minnesota Vikings. The 7-1 Vikings. The Vikings once trained by Frazier.

Ryan O’Halloran: Even with quarterback Josh Allen (right elbow) active, he’s not going anywhere near full throttle with his pass, so this will be a game for the others. That means you, running backs. That means you, recipients, who are not named Stefon Diggs. And that means you, Rush Defense.

Allen is the Bills’ lead rusher, so his absence would put the run-game load on Devin Singletary, James Cook and maybe Nyheim Hines. The Bills’ longest carry from a running back against the Jets last week was six yards. must be better

No. 2 wide receiver Gabe Davis drew a lot of attention this week after catching just two passes apiece against Green Bay and the Jets. This passing game should go through Diggs, but not be completely carried by him. must be better

And there are no excuses for the Bills’ rush defense not to hit back. Minnesota is 24th in the league (102.0), but the Bills need to rediscover their tackles — I booked them for 19 missed tackles in the last two games. must be better

A healthy Bills team would deal with a Vikings team whose seven wins were 16, four, three, seven, eight, eight and three points. But the Bills’ non-Allen injuries are piling up again, led by safety Jordan Poyer (elbow) and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds (groin/heel).

The Vikings find a way to win another tight game against the exhausted Bills. Vikings, 21-17.

Sean McDermott provides an update on Josh Allen’s elbow injury on Wednesday, November 9, 2022.

Catherine Fitzgerald


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