The unthinkable happened last Sunday. The Buffalo Bills beat the undefeated Minnesota Vikings 27-6. The Vikings were heavily favored by 17 points.
It was the biggest NFL upset in 23 years. The last underdog victory this large was in December 1995 when the 17.5-point underdog Redskins beat the Cowboys.
Just to put into perspective how rare of an event this is, there have only been 15 wins by teams favored by 17 points or more in the entire Super Bowl era. In fact, the actual numbers are 145-15, as of this weekend.
But on Sunday, the Bills shocked the Vikings and the nation. Their rookie quarterback Josh Allen (remember the guy Jalen Ramsey called “trash”?) and a strong defense gave the team a startling 27-0 lead by halftime. In the first five minutes, Allen scored a touchdown off a 10-yard run – that was the first time the Bills have led a game so far this season.
According to Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White, “I think ever since I’ve been here, every game I’ve been in, we’ve been the underdogs. It’s nothing new to us. We just go out and play. The analysts can pick whoever they want, but we gotta go out and play. So at the end of the day, it’s all just football. We executed a little bit better today.”
Of course, this was after he mocked QB Kirk Cousins in the tunnel with his own catchphrase, “You like that?! You like that?!”
So Sunday was awesome for the Bills. But let’s take a brief look back at their games over the past couple of weeks, shall we?
In Week 1, the Bills’ performance was “absolutely deplorable.” In a 47-3 loss to the Ravens, the Bills landed their second-worst performance in franchise history. Some might even call it a total meltdown. They looked incompetent, lacking talent and even hope. They did end up putting in rookie quarterback Josh Allen, but only after the Bills were down 40-0.
In Week 2, they were simply “outclassed” and “clueless.” Allen started his first NFL game, but the Bills lost 31-20 to the Chargers after allowing them to gain a 28-0 lead by halftime. To add insult to injury (and make the Bills the butt of even more jokes nationwide), cornerback Vontae Davis quit, er, retired at halftime, refusing to come out and play.
But in Week 3, the Bills blew out a supposed Super Bowl contender with what looked like ease. And they did it at the Vikings’ US Bank Stadium. Man, we hate to think how crazy things could’ve gotten if they had done this at a home game back in Buffalo…
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins played an amazing game last week against the Packers, but this week that same man just didn’t show up. Staring down a surprisingly solid Bills defense, Cousins was sacked three times in the first half, fumbling twice and costing the Vikings some serious points early on. The home team was left trailing miserably at halftime, exiting the field amid loud boos from the Minnesota crowd. Cousins threw an interception before it was all over with, though some sports writers are blaming his defensive line for his overall weak performance.
The Vikings defense, which was expected to totally dominate Josh Allen and the Bills offense, was plagued by penalties. They just couldn’t quite get it together and the Bills never looked back after that first drive. It was clear the rhythm of the game had been set in their favor.
White Men Can’t Jump? Say that to Josh Allen’s FACE. pic.twitter.com/X1nXUfl2Ef
— Barstool Sports (@barstooltweetss) September 23, 2018
On the other side, Josh Allen was an absolute star. He ran for two touchdowns and threw for a third, completely surprising the Vikings. The guy has a great arm, sure, but he can also RUN. He leapt over a linebacker Anthony Barr in a wild play that wowed commentators everywhere. Allen went 12 of 18 for a total of 179 passing yards and rushed for 39 yards. And it could’ve been even worse for the Vikings because he also threw a few solid passes that were dropped. But even so, his performance was absolutely incredible and definitely enough to get the job done.
Another person who got a ton of vindication from this Buffalo victory? Bills defensive coordinator and former Vikings head coach, Leslie Frazier. The team awarded him the game ball for shutting down Minnesota’s offense.
Frazier said, “It’s great for our team and it feels really good to get a win. It is not a lot of fun to be 0-2, so getting a win on the road against a good team feels good.”
Talk about “any given Sunday,” right?
Who else cashed in on this win? According to reports, there were 255 money-line bets placed on the Bills with 10 to 1 odds, the largest of which was $1,000. So aside from Bills fans, there are quite a few other people out there who are pumped about this shocking victory.