The Buffalo Bills (6-3) have a lot to process following their devastating upset by the Minnesota Vikings (8-1) on Sunday, November 13. While quarterback Josh Allen took responsibility for his numerous costly mistakes after the Bills’ 33-30 overtime loss, safety Cam Lewis beat himself up for his own miscues.
The 25-year-old has played cornerback since he signed with the Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2019, but the Bills started working him out as a safety during the offseason. With All-Pro Jordan Poyer out with an injury, Buffalo looked to Lewis over Jaquan Johnson against the Vikings, marking his fourth-ever career start, and his first start at safety, per One Bills Live host Chris Brown.
While Buffalo’s entire defense couldn’t figure out a way to shut down Vikings star wide receiver Justin Jefferson, who finished the game with 10 receptions for a career-high 193 yards at Highmark Stadium on Sunday, his absolutely insane 32-yard, one-handed catch on 4th-and-18 marked the craziest highlight of what was already a wild game.
Lewis was covering Jefferson during the catch mid-air, but instead of batting the ball down, he unsuccessfully tried to go for the interception. The University of Buffalo alum was berated by fans on Twitter for trying to do too much, even former Bills legend Fred Jackson tweeted out, “KNOCK THE BALL DOWN!!!”
After the game, Lewis sounded off on his pivotal mistake. “I honestly thought it was over his head. Just gotta be more aware of the situation,” he said. “It was a f****** fourth and 22,” adding a few yards onto the actual distance.
“Knock the ball down, bro. Like, I’m not a selfish player. I don’t try to be a selfish player. I’m always trying to put the team before me. Pshht. I’ve just got to knock the f****** ball down. It’s plain and simple. Just gotta know the situation. I knock the ball down we f****** win. That’s all I can say about that.”
Even Vikings Head Coach Couldn’t Believe Jefferson’s ‘Remarkable’ Catch
To Lewis’ credit, Jefferson is likely one of the only people on the planet who’d be able to hold onto that ball in such a critical situation. Following the Vikings’ Week 10 victory, the LSU alum now ranks second in the league with a total of 1,060 receiving yards and ranks fourth in receptions (69), per NFL.com.
The catch was so impressive that even Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell couldn’t believe what he saw. “It happened right in front of me. One of the more remarkable catches I’ve ever seen,” he said after the game. “He’s such a special, special player. I’m really proud of the way Justin has battled all season long against a lot of different looks and a lot of different coverages. To show up time and time again when needed him today, we’re really really lucky to have Justin and the plays he made for us today.”
Jefferson, whom the Vikings drafted with the first-round pick they received from Buffalo in the Stefon Diggs trade back in 2020, offered some insight into how he held onto the ball. “I put my hands in the right position that they were giving me,” he said, as reported by The Buffalo News. “Attempted to go up and make a play for the team. I guess our little strengthening the hands workouts worked out.”
There Were Numerous Mistakes That Led to the Bills’ OT Loss
While Lewis was emotional about his mistake, Jefferson’s ridiculous catch wasn’t the game-winning score for the Vikings. The Bills’ defense ultimately put a stop to Minnesota’s drive on fourth down, which meant Buffalo had a four-point lead with 49 seconds left in the game.
According to Next Gen Stats, the Bills had a 99.1% chance to win following that huge stop. However, when the Bills took over on offense at their own 1-yard line, Allen fumbled the snap by center Mitch Morse which was recovered by Vikings linebacker Erik Kendricks for a touchdown.
Allen answered by quickly getting the ball down the field to set up kicker Tyler Bass for a 29-yard field goal, which sent the game into overtime. After Buffalo’s defense held Minnesota to a field goal on their first possession. Allen had the win in his hands but threw a red-zone pass straight into the arms of Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson, sealing Minnesota’s 33-30 win.
The Bills will look to turn things around when they host the Cleveland Browns in Week 11.