Can Josh Allen stay out of harm’s way against Vikings?

Buffalo Bills, Minnesota Vikings

The Buffalo Bills have been overwhelmed in each of their first two games this season. Will things get any easier against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday?

If you put anything into NFL Power Rankings (and for the sake of this site, let’s hope so), the Buffalo Bills have arguably been the worst team in the NFL after two weeks of play. It would be easy to point to the problems at the quarterback position. But as observers of the game constantly on a weekly basis, it is difficult to get much done on offense when you’re not getting support for the men up front.

In the case of the Buffalo Bills, a team that made the playoffs a year ago, the club is struggling mightily on both the offensive and defensive lines these days. All told, it was another offseason of drastic change for the team from Orchard Park. And to date, nothing has seemed to go very right for Sean McDermott and company.

The Week 1 starter at quarterback was Nathan Peterman and he took a beating, sacked three times while throwing two interceptions against the Baltimore Ravens. He would eventually be replaced by rookie Josh Allen, who would also be sacked three times vs. the Ravens.

The latter got the start last week against the Los Angeles Chargers and it was 28-3 in the second quarter. By game’s end, the seventh overall pick in April’s draft had been sacked five times and picked off twice. All told, the Bills have been outscored a combined 78-23 in their first two games and a disappointing 54-6 in the first half of those losses to the Ravens and Bolts.

In eight quarters of football, Buffalo has amassed a combined 446 total yards. To put that in perspective, the Kansas City Chiefs (449) and Pittsburgh Steelers (475) each surpassed that figure in their showdown at Heinz Field last week.

And now the team heads to the Twin Cities to take on the NFL’s top-ranked defense from a year ago. And that talented unit has seemingly picked up where it left off in 2017. The Minnesota Vikings come off a 29-29 overtime tie with the Green Bay Packers but don’t be fooled by that point total. The defense gave up 351 total yards but only one offensive touchdown at Lambeau Field.

The Pack scored the vast majority of their points via their special teams (blocked punt for a touchdown and five field goals). The Vikings’ defensive unit has allowed only two trips to the end zone in as many games. Led by defensive end Danielle Hunter, Minnesota has seven sacks in its first two contests.

It’s hardly going out on a limb when stating that a date against Mike Zimmer’s defense is a rough assignment for any team, regardless of its firepower. And the Bills feature an offensive line that still has more questions than answers, Allen may be under duress for the entire afternoon. It doesn’t make for a promising outlook for a club that a year ago finally ended its long postseason drought a year ago.

So can the Bills possibly pull off the upset? There would have to be an amazing reversal of fortune for McDermott and company to win at Minneapolis on Sunday. It would start with trying to run the football against a team that has allowed only 94 yards per contest the first two weeks.

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