Published October 19, 2014
Orchard Park, NY – Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Orton found Sammy Watkins for a 2- yard touchdown with one second left to lift the Buffalo Bills to a 17-16 win over the visiting Minnesota Vikings.
The prospect of the Bills winning appeared dim when Orton was sacked at the Buffalo 40 on third down inside the two-minute warning. However, the veteran quarterback converted a 4th-and-20 with a 24-yard pass to Scott Chandler.
Orton later hit Chris Hogan near the sideline at the 2 for 28 yards before spiking the ball to stop the clock with five seconds remaining. Orton then connected to Watkins in the front left corner of the end zone, and Dan Carpenter made the decisive extra point.
The Bills (4-3) overcame four turnovers and the lose of running backs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (shoulder). Spiller reportedly broke his collarbone.
"C.J. will be out for an undetermined time," Bills head coach Doug Marrone said. "We're going to look at Fred, we don't have any timetable for that."
Orton turned the ball over twice while finishing 31-of-43 for 283 yards and two touchdowns to the rookie Watkins.
Minnesota rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, making his first road start, was 15-of-26 for just 157 yards. He threw his first touchdown pass, but was also picked off twice by Leodis McKelvin in the Vikings' third straight loss.
Minnesota head coach Mike Zimmer said his team "didn't get the job done" and that they "have to continue to learn when we get in these situations."
A bright spot for the Vikings (2-5) was Jerick McKinnon. The rookie rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries against a Buffalo defense that entered Week 7 leading the NFL in allowing 67.5 yards per game on the ground.
The Bills fumbled on each of their first two possessions, the second resulting in a Blair Walsh 40-yard field goal.
In the second quarter, Bridgewater threw interceptions on consecutive drives. On the first play after the second McKelvin pick, Orton hooked up with Watkins for a 26-yard scoring strike.
Bridgewater responded by hitting Greg Jennings for 38 yards on 3rd-and-7 from the Minnesota 43. After a 15-yard catch by Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson caught a 4-yard TD pass on a wide receiver screen.
Spiller was injured on the next Buffalo drive after a 53-yard carry to the Minnesota 15. He landed hard on his left shoulder at the end of the play.
The Bills eventually settled for a Carpenter 31-yard field goal.
Minnesota was up 13-10 at halftime when a late Orton interception led to Walsh nailing a 55-yarder with 15 seconds left.
Orton fumbled at the Minnesota 20 in the third quarter, derailing a promising drive.
The Vikings were near midfield to begin the fourth quarter and Bridgewater converted a 3rd-and-18 with a 28-yard pass to Jarius Wright. The drive stalled and Walsh made a 33-yarder.
"Field goals won't win games. We have to be able to finish drives," Bridgewater said. "It starts with me."
Watkins caught nine passes for 122 yards ... The injuries to Jackson and Spiller left Anthony Dixon as the only available running back for Buffalo and he rushed for 51 yards on 13 carries ... Orton was sacked six times, one more than Bridgewater ... The Vikings still lead the all-time series 8-5.