The Oakland Raiders came into this week eight matchup against the Buffalo Bills sitting fourth in the AFC East with a record of (3-4). Big offseason addition for the Oakland Raiders, running back Marshawn Lynch did not play in this one, serving his one-game suspension for hitting a referee in week seven. Presumably a big loss for Oakland going against the sixth-ranked rush defense in the NFL. The Buffalo Bills, coming off a last-second victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are second in the AFC East with a record of (4-2). The Bills came in looking to string together back to back victories, especially following an eventful week as they traded away defensive tackle Marcel Dareus to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Looking to exploit the Buffalo Bills defense early on the Raiders had no trouble moving the ball. On their first drive of the game, the Raiders picked up 72-yards through the air taking advantage of an injured Bills secondary. Following a failed challenge on fourth down by the Buffalo Bills, Derek Carr connected with Michael Crabtree for 23-yards to put the Raiders deep in Bills territory. The Raiders would cap off their drive and put the first points of the day on the board by a 1-yard run by fullback Jamize Olawale. The first score of the season for Olawale gave the Raiders an early 7-0 lead.
Putting together their first sustained offensive drive of the game midway through the second quarter, the Bills went 64-yards in 9-plays to tie the score at 7-7. A big 22-yard reception by rookie receiver Zay Jones gave him the longest catch of his career and put the Bills in Raiders territory. A long 14-yard run by LeSean McCoy would set up the action for former Oakland Raider Andre Holmes. Holmes would haul in an 8-yard reception before tip-toeing in the corner of the end zone for a 6-yard score. The touchdown was Holmes’ third of the season.
Defense reigned supreme in the first half for both sides as the offense was scarce. In the final minute of the first half, the Bills defense got a boost from the unlikely source of rookie Matt Milano. Milano took a DeAndre Washington fumble 40-yards back for the score. The play would give the Bills a 14-7 lead heading into the half. With only 131-yards of total offense in the first half for the Bills, the fourth-ranked defense in points per game allowed showed its worth.
Coming out of half the Bills took advantage of Raiders miscues once again as the team came to life after a slow start. A fumble by Jalen Richard on a punt return following the first drive of the half would give the Bills the ball back at the 15-yard line. The rookie Milano once again forcing the turnover as he stripped the ball. The Bills would have to settle for a Stephen Hauschka field goal from 35-yards out.
Continuing to force turnovers, the Bills big offseason addition Micah Hyde picked up his fifth interception of the season after a tipped pass from Derek Carr allowed him to make the diving play. Once again for his second of the day, Hauschka would kick it in from 44-yards out to extend the lead for Buffalo to 20-7.
The Bills would not take their foot off the gas as they continued to pile it on. A 12-play, 80-yard drive by the Bills highlighted by a beautiful Tyrod Taylor pass to Holmes for 36-yards as well as a 24-yard catch by return man Brandon Tate. Tyrod Taylor would punch it in from 1-yard out at the beginning of the fourth quarter extending the lead 27-7.
The Raiders making their best attempt at a comeback were able to go 79-yards on 9-plays for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. Carr was able to connect with his running back DeAndre Washington for a 4-yard score to bring the game within two scores, 27-14. The Raiders comeback however would end there as a McCoy touchdown would seal it.
Crucial for the Bills in this one was time of possession, an area they excelled in, having the ball nearly ten more minutes than Oakland. McCoy would finish his day with over 100-yards rushing and 20-yard receiving. The three turnovers the Bills defense forced were crucial to the defensive effort and the 34-14 win.
The Bills improved with the win to (5-2) on the season and will face the Jets next week. The Raiders fall to (3-5) and will head to Miami to face the Dolphins.
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