Final Score:** Bills 17 – Vikings 16
Location: Orchard Park, NY – Ralph Wilson Stadium
W-L records: Buffalo (4-3); Minnesota (2-5)
In a Nutshell:
The Bills offense waited until the waning moments to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat Sunday. With one second remaining Kyle Orton found Sammy Watkins on the left sideline for a two-yard touchdown catch. Dan Carpenter's extra point lifted Buffalo to a 17-16 win.
It was a game the Bills had to have. After dropping their last two home games Buffalo faced a Minnesota club with a rookie quarterback making his first career road start. Unfortunately for the second straight week the Bills could not take care of the football and it cost them points of their own while also handing six to the Vikings, which was a lead they held for most of the second half.
Buffalo also lost Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller to injuries in the game, but the victory avoided a third-consecutive loss on home field. The win raised the Bills record back above .500 to 4-3 on the season and kept them firmly in the AFC East division race.
How it went down:
--The Vikings got on the board first. After Buffalo's second lost fumble of the game at their own 27-yard line, Blair Walsh put a 40-yard field goal up and through for a 3-0 first quarter lead.
--Buffalo answered early in the second quarter, scoring one play after Leodis McKelvin intercepted a Teddy Bridgewater pass at the Minnesota 26-yard line. Kyle Orton found Sammy Watkins in the front right corner of the end zone for a touchdown (7-3).
--Minnesota had a response putting together a touchdown drive of their own capped by a four-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Cordarrelle Patterson to retake the lead (10-7) midway through the second quarter.
--After a 53-yard run by C.J. Spiller, kicker Dan Carpenter would hit a 31-yard field goal to tie the score (10-10).
--The Vikings then took advantage of an interception thrown by Orton with 1:24 left in the half. Robert Blanton picked off the pass giving Minnesota possession at the Vikings' 41-yard line. Five plays later Walsh bombed a 55-yard attempt through the uprights for a field goal with 18 seconds left in the half for a 13-10 halftime lead.
--The Bills committed their fourth turnover of the game when Kyle Orton was sacked and fumbled at the Minnesota 18-yard line, marking the second turnover in the red zone.
--Minnesota would push their lead to six early in the fourth quarter when they Walsh hit from 33 yards out for a 16-10 lead with 11:47 to play.
--Buffalo with just under three minutes remaining began what wound up being a 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive. The drive was extended with a 4th-and-20 conversion by Kyle Orton to Scott Chandler, to set up 1st-and-10 at the Vikings 41 with 1:18 remaining. A few plays later Orton found Sammy Watkins for the tying touchdown with Carpenter providing the game-winning extra point.
From the locker room
--"The whole first three and a half (quarters) it felt like we couldn't get going, couldn't get in sync. It felt like the past four years, but that last drive wasn't the past four years. We're a different team this year, we just believe in one another more. Some huge plays from young guys down the stretch and obviously Kyle (Orton) standing in there and making some great throws."
TE Scott Chandler
--"It's a tough league to win games. We stuck together and won it, and it was through some ugly times and some times where some guys made big plays. The issue that I have, and I told the players this, is that we've got a lot of improvement to do. I'm upset about turnovers. We turned the ball over in the red zone twice and gave them six points, and turned the ball over again. You can't do that and our players understand that. We have to do a better job there. I've got to get back to work and get some things fixed. When I say fixed I just mean that we've got to get better."
HC Doug Marrone
--"I have faith in those guys so I mean when they got the ball with the amount of time they had, it was plenty of time for them to go down there and execute what they've been doing in practice all week long, so I mean I was excited to just sit back and watch and just watch them handle that situation like pros."
DE Jerry Hughes on the Bills' offense
--Kyle Orton was 31-of-43 passing for 283 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and a passer rating of 95.4.
--The Bills had four turnovers in two and half quarters of play. Buffalo had three lost fumbles, two of which came in the red zone and an interception. Fortunately those turnovers only led to six points.
--Buffalo rushed for 118 yards on 19 carries for a 6.2 average.
--Sammy Watkins had a monster day with nine catches for 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
--The Bills defense posted five more sacks in the victory.
--Buffalo lost their top two running backs in less than a quarter of game clock Sunday. Fred Jackson left at the end of the first quarter with a groin injury. C.J. Spiller suffered a shoulder injury at the end of a 53-yard run. Both players were declared out for the game.
--Leodis McKelvin posted a pair of interceptions in the first half setting a single-season career high with four so far this season. One of his interceptions led to a touchdown.
--The Bills have a total of seven turnovers in their last two home games. They've gone from a plus-six in turnover margin two weeks ago to a plus-one.
--Buffalo's offense did not have a possession that lasted more than six plays until their final two, which went for eight and 15 plays.
CB Ross Cockrell, RB Bryce Brown, S Kenny Ladler, LB Ty Powell, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, WR Marcus Easley, WR Marquise Goodwin.
The Bills will travel to MetLife Stadium to take on the New York Jets for a 1 p.m. kickoff next Sunday.
Photos of the week 7 matchup between the Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings.