Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings: Week 2 NFL Preseason Pick: August 17th 2012
Week 2 NFL Preseason Pick: August 17th 2012
Buffalo Bills vs. Minnesota Vikings
Current line: Minnesota (-2.5/37)
Buffalo visits Minnesota and the Mall of America Field in Minneapolis for an 8pmET kickoff on Friday night. Buffalo opened with an exciting 7-6 home loss to Washington, getting 2.5. Minnesota is coming off a 17-6 road loss to San Francisco getting 3 points.
Weather: 66 degrees and clear.
Buffalo is coming off going 6-10 SU, 6-9-1 ATS and 11-4-1 OVER last year. They went 0-3-1 ATS last year in preseason, while Chan Gailey is 4-14 SU and 5-11-2 ATS as a coach with Buffalo and Dallas in preseason. The Vikings are coming off a disappointing 3-13 SU season, they were 5-10-1 ATS and 9-7 Over. Last year, they went 3-1 ATS in the preseason. Leslie Frazier, now in his second full season, is 2-2 SU, 2-2 ATS and 1-3 Under in preseason.
Buffalo will be seeking some offensive improvement as well after scoring only a pair of field goals in last week’s 7-6 preseason-opening loss to the Robert Griffin-led Washington Redskins, a game in which head coach Chan Gailey called for passes on the Bills’ first 16 plays from scrimmag.
Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 6-of-14 for 61 yards in leading Buffalo’s first four possessions, while neither Tyler Thigpen nor offseason addition Vince Young seemed to gain much of an upper hand in their battle for the No. 2 signal-caller job. Thigpen completed only 3-of-8 throws for 38 yards and was intercepted once. Young did rush for a team-best 37 yards on five scrambles, but was just 5-of-12 passing for 50 yards and was sacked three times.
The Vikings are coming off a terrible 3-win season and should be heading towards rebuilding under second-year qb Christian Ponder, who needs more reps to get better. He’s a good athlete who tends to hold the ball too long. With RB Adrian Peterson (knee) out in the preseason and status iffy to start the season, the Vikes will have to rely on Toby Gerhart. Minnesota picked up WR Jerome Simpson and TE John Carlson. That probably won’t help the 28th-ranked passing offense (184.8ypg). The defense continues to struggle against the pass (251.2ypg) although DE Jared Allen (22 sacks) is one of the best pass rushers in the game.
Peterson appears to be making excellent progress in his recovery from a devastating knee injury suffered back on Christmas Eve, however. Peterson was activated from the physically unable to perform list over the weekend and took part in his first padded practice on Tuesday, putting the four-time All-Pro on track to be ready for Minnesota’s Sept. 9 regular-season opener.
Peterson’s eventual return would bring a spark to a Vikings’ offense that wasn’t crisp in last week’s opener at San Francisco. Minnesota mustered just 208 total yards and failed to find the end zone in a 17-6 loss to the defending NFC West champion 49ers, with its quarterbacks combining for a modest 126 net passing yards while completing only 11-of-26 attempts.
Ponder went 4-for-9 for 80 yards, with most of the damage coming on a 52-yard hookup to wide receiver Stephen Burton on Minnesota’s opening drive. Both of the 2011 first-round pick’s two series of action resulted in field goals by rookie kicker Blair Walsh, however.
The Vikings had greater problems on defense, with the unit being gashed for 260 rushing yards and surrendering a 78-yard scoring run to Niners backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the second quarter. Minnesota did take the field without three key starters, however, with defending NFL sack champion Jared Allen, tackle Kevin Williams and cornerback Antoine Winfield each getting the night off as a veteran courtesy.
All are slated to play in Friday’s matchup along with dynamic wide receiver Percy Harvin, who was rested as well against the 49ers. Nose tackle Letroy Guion won’t be suiting up, though, after spraining his knee in Friday’s loss.
Buffalo: C Eric Wood (knee), right tackle Erik Pears (sports hernia) and veteran corner Terrence McGee (knee) have all been ruled out for a second straight week. CB Justin Rogers (ham) is out. WR David Nelson (knee) is ? Minnesota: RB Adrian Peterson (knee) is out. NT Letroy Guion (knee) is out. TE John Carlson (knee) is dbtful.
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