The Minnesota Vikings and Buffalo Bills are set to do battle in a Week 2 preseason game in which both teams are still attempting to figure out how the quarterback situation will work out.
Minnesota of course has Christian Ponder, while the Bills are hoping they have a franchise quarterback in rookie E.J. Manuel. In Week 1 the Vikings went down swinging while the Bills walked all over the Indianapolis Colts.
Here’s a full breakdown.
Where: Ralph Wilson Stadium, Buffalo
When: August 16th, 2013, 7:00 PM ET
Watch: KARE 11 (NBC – Minneapolis), WKBW 7 (ABC – Buffalo) – tape delay
Live Stream: NFL Preseason Live
Vikings Player to Watch: Christian Ponder
It’s easy to say that Ponder is the starter for the Vikings going in to next season, but it is not a wise move to completely write off veteran Matt Cassel, who is sitting behind Ponder while learning the ropes of the offense.
Make no mistake, the Vikings want Ponder to be the guy. But if he falters or is not effective enough, there is going to be some cries for Cassel to see starting play. Week 1 was not kind to Ponder, so keep an eye on him against the Bills to see if he can turn things around.
Bills Player to Watch: E.J. Manuel
Manuel exploded on to the scene last week with timely scrambles and a pretty display of passing as the starter for the Bills in a victory while Kevin Kolb sat out with an injury.
Manuel was our player to watch last week and he is the main attraction again this week because the success of the franchise both in the present and into the future hinges on his ability to keep playing at a high level. We will find out if he can do that against a mediocre defense in the Vikings.
Matchup to Watch: Bills Offensive Line vs. Vikings Pass Rush
The Bills made some boneheaded moves this past offseason, including letting elite guard Andy Levitre walk via free agency. Now the team has to find a way to better protect rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel.
The Vikings are a team that fields a consistently sound pass rush, so the contest against Minnesota could tell us ample amounts about the re-tooled offensive line in Buffalo. Watch to see if Manuel and Co. can stay upright.
On paper the Bills are actually the deeper team, which is not something you would hear us say often. If Kevin Kolb is good to go and Manuel can play at a high level again the Bills should have no problem running away with this one.
Again, final scores do not matter, but it is a nice feather in the cap.
Vikings 17, Bills 30
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