The Vikings starting QB played just three plays before getting hurt Sunday, but the Vikings didn’t miss a beat, playing one of their best games of the season as they pounded the Buffalo Bills 38-14, at the Metrodome.
Tarvaris Jackson took over for Favre early in the first quarter and threw for 187 yards and two touchdowns. The injury to Favre took place just three plays in, when he was hit from behind by Arthur Moats on his first passing attempt, an interception by Drayton Florence.
Favre was on the sidelines, but didn’t come back in. Jackson completed 15-of-22 passes, but threw three interceptions.
Adrian Peterson, who was questionable with an ankle injury, rushed for 107 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings (5-7), who earned a 17-13 victory at Washington last week in interim head coach Leslie Frazier’s debut. Minnesota has won three of its last five. Sidney Rice caught five passes for 105 yards and two scores in the victory.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 158 yards on 15-of-25 efficiency with one touchdown and one interception for Buffalo (2-10), which dropped a 19-16 overtime decision to Pittsburgh last weekend and has split its last four games. Florence had two interceptions, and David Nelson had a 12-yard TD reception in defeat.
After Favre was knocked out of the game, Jackson, who failed to help the Vikings put points on the board in his initial set, was picked off on a pass intended for Greg Camarillo by Florence, who returned it for the score to give Buffalo a 7-0 lead with 4:34 left in the first quarter.
Minnesota got the points right back when Jackson heaved a 31-yard pass for Rice, who wrestled the ball away from the defender, but was ruled out of bounds. A replay overruled the initial call, giving the Vikings the touchdown.
Leodis McKelvin fumbled on the ensuing kickoff which led to a Peterson two- yard rushing score that capped a brief four-play, 14-yard drive to make it a 14-7 game early in the second.
The Vikings got the ball back a short time later and again it was Peterson finding the end zone on a short run four minutes into the second quarter. Starting at his own 40, Jackson picked up a first down on a 13-yard scramble that was coupled with an unnecessary roughness penalty to move it to the Buffalo 15. Peterson went up the middle for a three-yard score two plays later.
It quickly became 28-7 when Antoine Winfield’s interception and 41-yard return put Minnesota in business at the Buffalo five-yard line. After a one-yard loss on a Toby Gerhart run, Rice made a diving catch on a six-yard touchdown pass.
Ryan Longwell tacked on a 38-yard field goal as time expired for a 31-7 game at the intermission. After a scoreless third quarter, Fitzpatrick was sacked and fumbled on the first play of the fourth, giving the Viki