ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. >> Kyle Orton beat the clock again.
Orton completed a 2-yard pass to Sammy Watkins in the left front-corner of the end zone with 1 second remaining in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 17-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The touchdown capped a 15-play, 80-yard drive that Orton extended by converting a fourth-and-20 with a 24-yard pass to tight end Scott Chandler over the middle. Three plays later, Orton hit Watkins on a crossing pattern for an 18-yard gain on third-and-12.
And Orton set up the decisive score by threading a 28-yard pass to Chris Hogan at 2 along the left sideline.
Shaking off an interception and a lost fumble, Orton went 31 of 43 for 283 yards and two touchdowns — both to Watkins, who finished with nine catches for 122 yards. The 10-year journeyman improved to 2-1 since replacing second-year starter EJ Manuel.
Orton won his first start three weeks ago by helping set up Dan Carpenter’s 58-yard field goal as time ran out in a 17-14 win at Detroit.
Buffalo (4-3) snapped a two-game home losing streak, improved to 3-0 this season against NFC North opponents and withstood injuries to running backs Fred Jackson (groin) and C.J. Spiller (left shoulder) in the first half.
The Vikings defense sagged in a game it forced four turnovers (an interception and three fumbles) and had six sacks, including a career-best four by Everson Griffen.
Minnesota’s offense, however, lacked finish in rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s third career start.
Bridgewater went 15 of 26 for 157 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions as Minnesota (2-5) lost its third in a row.
Cordarrelle Patterson had 4-yard touchdown catch, and rookie running back Jerick McKinnon had 103 yards rushing.
The Vikings settled for three field goals by Blair Walsh on four drives inside the Bills 40.
That included Walsh’s third of the game, a 33-yarder 3:15 into the fourth quarter. It came after the Vikings went backward after a first-and-goal at Buffalo’s 7.
On first down, Bridgewater was sacked for a 7-yard loss by Jerry Hughes. He was sacked again on the next play for a 9-yard loss by Marcell Dareus.
The Bills finished with five sacks and Leodis McKelvin had two interceptions.
Jackson was hurt in the final seconds of the first quarter on a run up the middle for no gain. He immediately grabbed the inside of his left leg as he was on the field.
Spiller was hurt at the end of a 53-yard run with under 6 minutes left in the second quarter. He was tripped up from behind by safety Robert Blanton, and fell hard on his left shoulder. Spiller was in immediate pain as he rolled over on the left sideline. A towel was placed over Spiller’s head as he was carefully loaded onto the cart.
Spiller was in tears as he was driven across the length of the field and into the tunnel.
The injuries depleted Buffalo’s backfield to third-string running back Anthony Dixon and fullback Frank Summers. Running back Bryce Brown was inactive to start the game.
Dixon finished with 51 yards rushing.
The Vikings lost two starting offensive lineman. Center John Sullivan did not return after sustaining a concussion. Guard Vladimir Ducasse hurt his knee.
The four turnovers by the Bills were their most since committing five (four interceptions and a fumble) in a 27-6 loss at Tampa Bay last Dec. 8.
At halftime, the Bills honored retired radio play-by-play broadcaster Van Miller, by placing his name on the Ralph Wilson Stadium’s Wall of Fame.