So you take play calling duties away from Leslie Frazier in the second half of the Chargers game because the defense is struggling. After that happens they hold the Chargers to 3 points in the second half. Then the next week you give Frazier his duties back while going to visit Minnesota who on paper is a very real contender for a Super Bowl. It appeared it may have been a recipe for disaster but instead it was nothing short of magical. The week prior Minnesota put up over 400 yards of offense and Cousins had 4 touchdowns. At halftime the Vikings hadn't even scored and the Bills were up 27-0.
It was so bad that the Vikings completely abandoned the run after halftime. The only rushing attempts in the second half were two scrambles by Cousins that netted 2 yards. In fact the Vikings tied an NFL record for the fewest rushing attempts in a game with 6. The Bills had 4 sacks, an interception, and forced 4 fumbles while recovering 2 of them. For a team like the Vikings that has been nearly unbeatable at home in recent years this was never close. The Bills had everything go their way and everything fell apart for Minnesota.
You could just see in the way the Bills started that game that they were going to have a special day. Everyone did they job from Allen, Ivory, the whole defense, and the offensive line opening holes and protecting Allen long enough to make plays. When the Bills did kick they put the Vikings in a tough spot. 6 of the 12 possessions the Vikings had started inside their own 15 yard line. 11 of 12 were at or inside their own 25 yard line. That makes for a long way to go when you're trying to mount any sort of a comeback. Did the Vikings just overlook the Bills? I don't think so. I think this was just one of those days where the stars aligned for one team and the other was sucked into a black hole. Frazier made all the right calls and his players responded perfectly.
After the game Frazier received the game ball and rightfully so. He called the game masterfully for the defense. When you have the NFL's biggest upset in 23 years and your defense is the main reason for that the yes, the defense coordinator certainly deserves the game ball. When Frazier was discussing having the play calling duties stripped he said “But I told Sean that I’ve been in his seat before so I understood,” “But, yeah, you don’t like it when stuff like that happens to you. You want to battle through it." “But sometimes, in our profession, it requires patience. To Sean’s credit, we sat down this past week and worked some things out and I’m back doing what they hired me to do for them.”
For those who don't recall or didn't know Frazier was the head coach of the Vikings from midway 2010 - 2013 season. Frazier finished with a 21-33-1 record coaching the Vikings. In 2013 when he was fired the team went 5-10-1 and finished last in the league in defense. My how times change after watching the game Sunday. Hopefully this continues and Frazier doesn't have to have the plays pulled from him again for this magic to happen. Sometimes you just need someone to light a fire under your a**. Maybe it was just luck, maybe divine intervention, but regardless it was nothing short or magical and amazing for all us Bills fans to witness. There's nothing like yelling at your tv in excitement and joy rather than heartbreak and disappointment. Leslie Frazier I tip my hat to you in that win. You nailed it. What else can you say. Great job Bills. Run with this momentum and now your opponents can see what can happen so beware the stampede.
(Hannah Foslien | Getty Images)