In week three of the NFL season last September, the Buffalo Bills upset the Minnesota Vikings 27-6 at US Bank Stadium. Should this football team have a chip on its shoulder going into Thursday Night Football?
Yes. It’s an exhibition game. The last one. The one where the starters only dress for exhibition themselves, and the guys looking to gain roster spots and keep jobs play the game.
But it’s still the Buffalo Bills.
The Buffalo Bills that came out of nowhere to embarrass the Vikings at home in such outrageous fashion last year that we all tried to hide its reality from the eyes of our children.
Well, some of us.
It was a shutout, 27-0, until only three minutes remaining in the game, when the Vikings got a pure garbage time touchdown and missed the two-point conversion.
The Vikings gave up four sacks, turned the ball over three times and rushed for only 14 yards.
What happened is still a mystery, but at this point, it can only be considered an ambush.
With startling news about star defensive and Everson Griffen’s ordeal with the Minneapolis Police, the team may have been dramatically distracted and entered the game with their minds not tuned into a Bills team that had more talent than what showed in their two losses to start the 2o18 season.
The thing that remains of it is an ugly memory…and perhaps the notion of some vengeance.
So, let’s get to it.
The Vikings won’t face the Bills in the regular season for at least another four years. With Buffalo being in the AFC, their only other meeting could only come in the Super Bowl.
Impossible, no. Likely, no also.
Whether it’s Sean Mannion, Kyle Sloter, or even Kirk Cousins that leads the Vikings into Orchard Park New York on Thursday night, they should be cognizant of the fact that the Vikings are here to win a game, not just showcase its players.
Doing so we’ll have threefold results. The Vikings will finish the preseason undefeated and help to erase the poor showing of their starters against Arizona last week and in Buffalo last year.
Yeah, it’s an exhibition game. But let’s see the Vikings play for real.
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