The Buffalo Bills got the front-line penetration they wanted out of their first-team defense Friday night.
Buffalo stopped running back Toby Gerhart for a two-yard run on the first play from scrimmage, but it gave up a big gain on a passing play from Christian Ponder to Percy Harvin on the next down. A late hit tacked on another 15 yards.
Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus then sacked Ponder, but the defense gave up another big gain on the following play, a pass to Jerome Simpson. Buffalo's defense bounced back with a sack, only to give up a big run and a touchdown pass on the next two plays.
"That's what you can't do," Bills coach Chan Gailey told reporters after the game. "You've got to take advantage of the sacks to stop drives. Normally, sacks stop drives. We've got to continue to work defensively to keep them reeling once we create that sack situation."
The Bills' defense, which saw Dareus, Kyle Williams and Dwan Edwards get credited with sacks, gave up runs of 42, 22 and 16 while surrendering pass plays of 48, 33 and 26.
"We gave up too many big plays," Gailey said. "Defensively we had some long passes completed on us, some long runs. We've got to work on those, we've got to eliminate those."
Minnesota found success on quick slants and drag routes against Buffalo's man-coverage. The Vikings also gained some chunk yardage with the screen. That will certainly be something the Bills try to shore up this week.
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