Sun Sep 23 4:57pm ET
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Pro Football Writer
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) tries to break a tackle by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. The Bills won 27-6. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes (55) pressures Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Buffalo Bills tight end Jason Croom (80) celebrates after catching a 26-yard touchdown pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen throws a pass over Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter (99) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen dives into the end zone over Minnesota Vikings' Sheldon Richardson, left, and Ben Gedeon (42) during a 1-yard touchdown run in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen tries to break a tackle by Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr (55) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) fumbles as he is hit by Buffalo Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes, left, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring on a 10-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen dives to the end zone during a 10-yard touchdown run during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Josh Allen played with the poise of a well-seasoned quarterback for the Buffalo Bills by accounting for three touchdowns in his first road start in the NFL. Allen made Minnesota's Kirk Cousins look like the raw rookie in a stunning 27-6 upset of the Vikings on Sunday afternoon.
Cousins had three turnovers, including a lost fumble on a third-down sack inside Minnesota's 20-yard line, on each of the first two possessions. Buffalo turned those recoveries into 10 points and was on cruise control by midway through the second quarter as the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium cranked up the boos.
The Vikings (1-1-1) were 16 1/2-point favorites when the game began, allowing the Bills (1-2) to become only the sixth such underdog in the NFL's last 81 point spreads that big. After being outscored 75-9 over their first six quarters of the season, the Bills have enjoyed a 41-9 advantage over the last six periods.
Allen, the seventh overall pick in the draft out of Wyoming who took the job earlier than expected in relief of a struggling Nathan Peterman in the opener, completed 15 of 22 passes for 196 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to wide-open tight end Jason Croom.
Though Allen took three sacks and fumbled three times, the Bills were able to recover all of them. He settled almost exclusively for safe underneath or sideline throws, but took advantage of several broken coverages by the Vikings for chain-moving gains.
Where Allen did the most damage was on the ground, putting together a mini-highlight film with his feet while injured running back LeSean McCoy watched in team-colored sweats - with a big smile - from the sideline. Allen dived to finish a 10-yard run by beating Anthony Barr to the edge of the end zone and scraping the pylon with the ball to finish the game's first drive.
At the end of the first quarter on third-and-9, Allen sprinted straight up the middle out of a collapsed pocket and hurdled Barr 2 yards short of the marker to get the first down. He capped that possession with a 1-yard touchdown sneak on fourth down for a 24-0 lead in the second quarter.
Allen became the first Bills rookie to run and pass for at least one score each in his first career road start.
With running back Dalvin Cook (hamstring) inactive and the score so lopsided, the Vikings set a franchise record for fewest rushing attempts with six. Cousins took four sacks.
That's because Buffalo's front seven, with former Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier serving as defensive coordinator, overwhelmed Minnesota's offensive line. Left tackle Riley Reiff was beaten regularly by Jerry Hughes, who had one of the sacks that caused a fumble. Linebacker Matt Milano had a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery. Defensive end Trent Murphy took credit for the other strip sack.
The Bills, including their playoff game, went the final eight games of last season without recovering a fumble.
Cousins finished 40 for 55 for 296 yards and a late touchdown to Kyle Rudolph.
The Vikings inducted the late Dennis Green, who's second behind Bud Grant in winning percentage as a head coach, into their Ring of Honor. Green, who guided the Vikings to the playoffs in eight of his 10 seasons, became the 24th member. The Vikings beat the Bills in all three meetings under Green.
Bills: Beyond McCoy (rib) and Gaines (elbow), backup DE Shaq Lawson (hamstring) was inactive. ... C Russell Bodine, who started in place of Ryan Groy, limped off with leg cramps in the third quarter. Groy, who had moved to LG when Vlad Ducasse left with an injury, shifted back to the middle as Ducasse re-entered. ... Lewis left with an injury in the fourth quarter, as did Murphy (ankle).
Vikings: In addition to Cook and DE Everson Griffen (knee), backup TE David Morgan (knee) and PR Marcus Sherels (ribs) were held out. ... CB Trae Waynes (ankle) left the game in the first quarter and did not return. ... RT Rashod Hill (ankle) limped off in the second quarter and was replaced by rookie Brian O'Neill.
Bills: Play at Green Bay next Sunday.
Vikings: Play the Rams in Los Angeles on Thursday night.
New England Patriots right tackle Marcus Cannon (concussion) did not practice all week and has been ruled out for Week 7 against the Bears. Quarterback Tom Brady's protection won't be as good as usual against a strong Chicago pass rush, although All-Pro defensive end Khalil Mack (ankle) is questionable and was slowed by his injury last week. Still, it's something to keep an eye on for this Sunday. If New England's offensive line is struggling, expect the Patriots to get the ball out quickly, which would favor receiver Julian Edelman and running back James White.
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Brice Butler (groin) practiced in full all week and is no longer on the Week 7 injury report against the Redskins after sitting out in Week 6. While Butler could see a role against Washington, he has yet to catch a pass in 2018 and would be behind Allen Hurns, Cole Beasley, rookie Michael Gallup and Deonte Thompson in one of the worst passing offenses in football, so you can continue ignoring him.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (shoulder) will play again this season, but his long-term future is in doubt. Tannehill continues to battle injuries and has not lived up to expectations in the first seven weeks of the season. Before the knee injury that kept him out for all of 2017 he had a quarterback rating of 93.5 and completed 67.1 percent of his passes in 2016. His QB rating through five games this year is at 92.9 with a completion percentage of 65.9. Tannehill is scheduled to cost $26.6 million against the salary cap next year, while releasing him after the year take $13.2 million off the cap. It all likely depends on whether Tannehill can improve in the second half of the season when he returns from his right shoulder injury. Until then, Brock Osweiler will fill in under center. Tannehill will probably be dropped in shallow leagues with him likely to miss at least the next two games.
Detroit Lions RB Ameer Abdullah could see some action in passing situations with RB Theo Riddick (knee) ruled out against the Miami Dolphins in Week 8.
New Orleans Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith is expected to see a larger role after WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list, and Smith said he is 'ready for the opportunity.'
Fantasy Spin: Smith was able to show that he can be a threat down the field when he caught three passes for 111 and two touchdowns against the Washington Redskins in Week 5. He will be a boom-or-bust flex option against the Ravens in Week 7.
New Orleans Saints WR Ted Ginn Jr. (knee) has a 'realistic' chance to return when he is eligible to come off the Reserve/Injured list in eight weeks, according to head coach Sean Payton.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB Carlos Hyde won't overtake RB T.J. Yeldon for the lead back role against the Houston Texans in Week 7, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Jaguars backfield could become quite crowded if Leonard Fournette is ever healthy, but until Hyde's role becomes clear, you should hang on to him in all formats. That being said, you won't want to start him in Week 7.
Jacksonville Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon will remain the 'main back' for the Week 7 game against the Houston Texans, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com.
Fantasy Spin: The Jaguars just acquired Carlos Hyde, but until he has a full week of practice with the team under his belt, it makes sense that Yeldon would shoulder most of the load. Yeldon can be a RB2 in most leagues.
Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans is always a start given his elite status but he will have a tough matchup this weekend against rookie cornerback Denzel Ward. Evans massive height gives him a natural advantage over the undersized Ward but he will have a difficult time getting separation. Back-to-back duds by Evans shouldn't discourage his owners from starting him this weekend since he's still Mike Evans. Just don't expect much more than low-end WR1 numbers against Cleveland.
Arizona Cardinals QB Josh Rosen (toe) is dealing with a sprained left toe but should be available for the Week 8 game, according to head coach Steve Wilks.
Fantasy Spin: Rosen has struggled since taking over as the starting quarterback but will be working with a new offensive coordinator next week. Rosen should not be a starting option in any fantasy leagues, but owners may want to keep an eye on him to see if he improves over the next few weeks.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Vita Vea will start at defensive tackle in the Week 7 game with DT Gerald McCoy (calf) sidelined, according to head coach Dirk Koetter.
Dallas Cowboys LB Sean Lee (hamstring) is expected to play in the Week 7 game but will be on a snap count, according to executive vice president Stephen Jones.
Dallas Cowboys WR Tavon Austin (groin) will not undergo groin surgery at this time but is expected to be sidelined for several weeks.
Denver Broncos CB Adam Jones (thigh) likely will be able to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Vance Joseph.
Denver Broncos OT Jared Veldheer (knee) and LB Shane Ray (ankle, wrist) may have a chance to play in the Week 8 game, according to head coach Vance Joseph.
Los Angeles Rams PK Greg Zuerlein (groin) fully participated in practice Friday, Oct. 19, and is not on the injury report for Week 7.
Fantasy Spin: Zuerlein is one of the top kickers in the NFL and is a must-start option in all leagues when he is healthy.
Los Angeles Rams WR Cooper Kupp (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 19, and has been ruled out for Week 7. DT Michael Brockers (shoulder), LB Matt Longacre (back), WR Josh Reynolds (hand), OG Rodger Saffold (knee), C John Sullivan (non-injury) and OT Andrew Whitworth (non-injury) fully participated in practice and are not on the injury report.
Free-agent WR Auden Tate was signed to the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad Friday, Oct. 19.
Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker (quadriceps) said he will be available for the Week 7 game but is not sure how much playing time he will be able to handle because of the injury.
Fantasy Spin: Parker has been limited to only two games because of injuries and has posted only 40 yards in those games. Owners probably should avoid him even if he is active for the game.
Oakland Raiders RB Jalen Richard is expected to see a bump in workload with RB Marshawn Lynch (groin) sidelined. Richard has just three touches when the team is leading, and 39 touches when tied or trailing, but that is expected to change with just RB Doug Martin standing in the way.
Fantasy Spin: Richard will likely see plenty of targets out of the backfield, as he has shown good hands in the past. Doug Martin is currently projected to be the lead back heading out of the bye in Week 8, but many expect Richard to be the biggest winner in terms of fantasy value in the Oakland backfield.