Game Overview ::
By mike johnson >>
- We are unlikely to get concrete information on Josh Allen until inactives are officially released, but context clues and common sense would point towards him sitting out this game.
- The Bills offense may run slightly more than normal, but they are still built as a “pass first” offense.
- The Bills defense is banged up and has been torched on the ground recently.
- T.J. Hockenson was a featured player in his debut for the Vikings and brings their passing game an added dimension.
How minnesota Will Try To Win ::
Last week in Washington, the Vikings ran 61 offensive plays that were not kneel downs or sacks. On those plays, they attempted to give the ball to one of Dalvin Cook, T.J. Hockenson, or Justin Jefferson on 46 plays – meaning that trio of players accounted for just over 75% of the offense’s workload last week. Given the nature of the offense and head coach Kevin O’Connell’s philosophical background, it seems likely that a heavy dose of those players is likely to continue especially in tough, high leverage games like this one.
The Vikings face a Bills defense that ranks very highly in most defensive metrics, but has been sliced up on the ground in consecutive weeks and will be without several key pieces. The Bills have given up 382 rushing yards to the Packers and Jets over the last two weeks. The Vikings have PFF’s #3 graded run blocking offensive line and Dalvin Cook could feast in this matchup if the Bills play their usual shell defense to protect against downfield passing, and if their injured players are unable to play or be effective. The Bills defensive scheme would tend to funnel targets towards the short and intermediate areas of the field – with Hockenson, Jefferson, and Cook all likely to be beneficiaries of such an approach to varying degrees. The addition of Hockenson also enables the Vikings to play faster if/when they want to, as they can play primarily in “11” personnel (3 WRs, 1 RB, 1 TE) and not have to substitute at RB or TE depending on if it is a run or pass situation. This makes them less predictable for the defense and should help efficiency in all areas.