By Joseph Gunther

The Minnesota Vikings have given back-to-back embarrassing performances with a trip to Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on the Buffalo Bills in Week 7. The Vikings lost to a pair of division rivals by a combined score of 59-13 in Weeks 5 and 6. The Bills have lost three of their last four, including two losses at home.

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Bills Record

The Bills enter the contest with a 3-3 record, including a 1-2 mark at home. They are currently 2-0 against the NFC North – both road games. 

Bills on Offense

Since changing quarterbacks from second-year player E.J. Manuel to long-time veteran Kyle Orton prior to Week 5, the Bills offense has 679 total yards (562 passing) in two games. Orton has the Bills gaining just over 5.1 yards per play. He has led Buffalo to a comeback win over the Detroit Lions and fell short in his rally against the New England Patriots.

Overall, the Bills offense has struggled. They rank 18th in passing yards and 22nd in rushing yards. They have a trio of running backs that have underperformed, a quarterback change that was necessary and the receiving group is mediocre.

The agent for the most proven receiver on the team’s roster, Mike Williams, has reportedly asked the team for permission to explore trade options. He was inactive for Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.

Bills on Defense

The defense is the reason the Bills are .500. They have the league’s No. 1 run defense, allowing just 67.5 yards per game. Defensive tackles Marcell Dareus and Kyle Williams are stout in the middle and defensive ends Jerry Hughes and Mario Williams. Middle linebacker Brandon Spikes is a shutdown run-stopper as well. Their strength is from the middle out and front to back.

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Safeties Aaron Williams and Da’Norris Searcy have been very good, but their cornerbacks are beatable.

The Bills rank 26th in passing yards allowed, but a good portion of that is because opposing teams cannot run on them. So, they just throw the ball as much as possible. According to a Patriots blog, Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore, Leodis McKelvin and Nickell Robey entered Week 5 allowing a completion percentage of 78.5 percent (51-for-65).

Bills Players to Watch

Running back Fred Jackson. The eighth-year veteran has not had more than 61 yards rushing this season. But, he is second on the team in rushing yards, yards per carry, receptions and receiving yards.

Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. The fourth-year veteran leads the team in sacks (five) and tackles for a loss (four). 


The Bills have looked good one week and bad another. They started the season with wins over the Chicago Bears on the road and the Miami Dolphins at home. However, the team struggled against the  San Diego Chargers at home and the Houston Texans on the road. Then in the last two weeks, they were good against the Lions and bad against the Patriots. They are a difficult team to figure out.

The Vikings need to develop a rhythm in the pass game and play disciplined on defense. It sounds easy, but nothing has been easy for the Vikings lately.

For more Vikings news and updates, visit Vikings Central.

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Joseph Gunther is an avid fan of Minnesota sports, including football, hockey and baseball. He covered a wide variety of sports while attending Hastings College in Hastings, Neb. While at Hastings College, he was a part of the first collegiate media group to broadcast a national tournament via television, radio, internet and newspaper at the 2004 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament. He grew up in the Twin Cities playing three years of varsity football in high school. Joseph is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on