The Vikings’ 27-6 loss to the Bills on Sunday afternoon was historically bad. In fact, it was the NFL’s worst upset loss since Dec. 3, 1995.
You read that right. The Vikings opened as 16 ½-point favorites against the previously winless Bills, who had been outscored by a combined 78-23 in two losses this season.
NFL teams favored by that much entering a regular-season game were a combined 34-0 since 1995, when the reigning Super Bowl-champion Dallas Cowboys, as 17-point favorites, were upset by the Washington Redskins, according to Pro Football Reference.
The previous four upsets of 16 ½-point favorites all came by one score, so the Vikings’ 21-point loss is by far the biggest drubbing of a heavy favorite since 1978, when Pro Football Reference notes the first such lopsided NFL favorite.
“As far as getting punched in the mouth,” running back Latavius Murray said, “it’s right up there for the worst there is for me.”
Griffen’s ‘personal matter’
Defensive end Everson Griffen was not at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday as he deals with a “personal matter,” according to coach Mike Zimmer. Griffen, 30, had already been ruled out of the game because of a knee injury that the Vikings say kept him from practicing all week. It was only his third missed start since he became a starter in 2014.
“He’s having a personal matter and I’m going to leave it at that,” Zimmer said.
For the third consecutive week, an opposing tight end had a big play against the Vikings. Zimmer called Bills tight end Jason Croom’s 26-yard touchdown catch and run a “miscommunication” as linebacker Eric Kendricks was among the Vikings defenders trailing the play.
“Just things happen. Offenses scheme for us, we game-plan for them,” Kendricks said. “It’s about the adjustments you make. We have to communicate better on defense.”
Boone’s 11 rushing yards tops
With Dalvin Cook out because of a hamstring injury, rookie running back Mike Boone suited up for his first NFL game and led the Vikings — with 11 rushing yards. The Vikings called only four running plays in a game in which they trailed 17-0 by the end of the first quarter. Boone became the first undrafted rookie since Jeff Womack in 1987 to lead the Vikings in rushing yards.
“It’s one of those things where the game got out of hand quickly,” fullback C.J. Ham said. “We definitely then had to lean on the pass a little more.”
Waynes to get MRI on ankle
Cornerback Trae Waynes nearly came up with an interception off Bills quarterback Josh Allen but injured his right ankle on the play. He was ruled out for the game and will undergo an MRI on Monday, Zimmer said.
Green inducted into Ring
Former Vikings coach Dennis Green was inducted as the 24th member of the team’s Ring of Honor on Sunday, his name unveiled just below sections 346 and 347 near the pivoting glass doors of U.S. Bank Stadium. Green’s son, Zach, sounded the Gjallarhorn before kickoff against the Bills.