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Bills complete undefeated preseason with a 27-23 win over Minnesota | Game Recap

Buffalo Bills running back Marcus Murphy (22) runs back a punt return for a touchdown during Buffalo Bills vs Minnesota Vikings at New Era Field, August 29, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes
Buffalo Bills running back Marcus Murphy (22) runs back a punt return for a touchdown during Buffalo Bills vs Minnesota Vikings at New Era Field, August 29, 2019. Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes

In a nutshell:

The Buffalo Bills finished the 2019 preseason with an undefeated record (4-0) for the first time in team history. Buffalo defeated the Minnesota Vikings 27-23 in a last-second comeback victory.

Tyree Jackson started at quarterback for the Bills and completed 22 passes for 175 yards including an eight-yard go-ahead touchdown pass to David Sills with eight seconds left in the game.

Buffalo gained a boost from its special teams. On Marcus Murphy's lone punt return of the game he went 79 yards to the end zone to make it a three-point game with just under four minutes remaining.

The Bills forced a three-and-out on the ensuing Minnesota drive to give them the ball back with under two minutes remaining.

Jackson tucked and ran for 15 yards and then completed a pass to Nick Easley for 12 yards. A roughing the passer penalty gave Buffalo the ball on the six-yard line. Jackson then found David Sills from eight yards out for the game winning score.

How it went down:

  • The Vikings needed eight plays to go 47 yards and open up the scoring. Kyle Sloter found running back Ameer Abdullah on a short pass to the right. Abdullah ran 15 yards to the endzone for the touchdown. Kaare Vedvik kick was good. (0-7)
  • The Bills followed up the Vikings score with one of their own. Buffalo moved the ball from its own 25 to the Minnesota 36, highlighted by completions to Jason Croom for 16 yards and Cam Phillips for eight. Stephen Hauschka nailed a 54-yard field goal. (3-7)
  • Both teams went scoreless nearly the entire second quarter. On Minnesota's last drive of the half they needed 16 plays to go 71 yards, resulting in a 27-yard field goal from Vedvik. (3-10)
  • The Bills opened up the scoring in the second half. Tyree Jackson got the Bills to the Minnesota 35 where Chase McLaughlin converted a 54-yard field goal to tighten the score. (6-10)
  • Minnesota followed it up with the third 54-yard field goal of the game. This time it was Dan Bailey hitting from distance. (6-13)
  • Three defensive penalties helped Minnesota score their second touchdown of the game. The Vikings got the ball down to the three yard line where De'Angelo Henderson punched it in. Bailey kick is good. (6-20)
  • Minnesota's drive went four plays and lost eight yards but Bailey hit from 43 yards out with 7:41 left in the fourth quarter. (6-23)
  • Buffalo pulled off its most successful offensive drive of the night. Jackson scrambled for a first down on 4th-and-9 and found Ray-Ray McCloud in space for a 28-yard completion. Jackson then scrambled to the end zone for a six-yard touchdown run. McLaughlin kick was good. (13-23)
  • Marcus Murphy returned a punt 79 yards for the touchdown. McLaughlin kick was good. (20-23)
  • With less than two minutes, the Bills drove all the way down the field for the game-winning score. Jackson scrambled for 15 yards, found Easley for another 12 and a roughing the passer penalty gave the Bills the ball at the six. Buffalo was knocked back two yards on a completion to Christian Wade. The next play Jackson found David Sills for the touchdown. (27-23)


Tyree Jackson played the entire game at quarterback. Both Josh Allen and Matt Barkley did not dress. Jackson led the Bills in rushing yards as well.

Eddie Yarbrough had nine tackles from the defensive end spot. Yarbrough is fighting for his spot on the 53-man roster.

Lafayette Pitts recorded his first interception of the preseason with his second quarter grab against Minnesota quarterback Kyle Sloter.

Three kickers, (Stephen Hauschka, Chase McLaughlin, Dan Bailey) converted field goals from exactly 54 yards out.

Neither team returned a kickoff. Every attempt went for a touchback.

Defensive Starters: Sam Acho, Roderick Young, Kyle Peko, Eddie Yarbrough, Corey Thompson, Tyrel Dodson, Maurice Alexander, Lafayette Pitts, Siran Neal, Dean Marlowe, Abraham Wallace.

Offensive Starters: Tyree Jackson, Marcus Murphy, Jason Croom, Nate Becker, Duke Williams, Cam Phillips, Jarron Jones, Ryan Bates, Russell Bodine, Ike Boettger, Conor McDermott.

Up next: The Bills open up the regular season on the road against the New York Jets. Buffalo and New York will kickoff at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 8.

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