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Raiders Steamroll Bills In The 2nd Half
Bills blew a 24-9 lead in lightning quick fashion.
by Steve Saslow
Week 12
Bills  24
Raiders  38
Gameday Grades
The Skinny:
The Raiders woke up just in time to blow past the Bills so fast that Buffalo couldn't get a look at the train that just steamrolled past them. Buffalo opened up a 24-9 third quarter lead when the Raiders took charge scoring 29 unanswered points in less than 15 minutes of gametime to take control of a 38-24 victory that likely puts a daggar in the Bills playoff hopes. The Bills opened up their lead thanks to two Mike Gillislee touchdown runs and a Tyrod Taylor scoring run. David Carr threw two touchdown pass and Latavius Murray ran for two for the Raiders. Taylor turned in a solid two and a half quarters then was terrible the rest of the way as he couldn't move the offense and unlike him, he turned it over twice with an interception and a fumble. It was just the third time since 2000 that the Bills blew a 15 point lead.

The Turning Point:
The 1st Raider TD drive: The Bills had a 24-9 lead but the Raiders went with a quick pace offense and got back in the game quickly. Their 9 play, 75 yard drive took only 3:44 off the clock. Michael Crabtree's 3 yard touchdown reception got them back in the game.

The Big Drive:
The Raiders 3rd TD Drive: This drive completed the lightning quick comeback. They went 59 yards in five plays in just :40 to get the lead for the first time in the fourth quarter and they wouldn't relinquish it. Carr hit Rivera for a 22 yarder before hitting Amari Cooper for a 37 yard touchdown pass two plays later.

Stat I Did Like:
Rushing Yards: Bills will likey hold on to the top spot in rushing as they ran for 212 yards in the loss.

Stat I Didn't Like:
Takeaways: Everyone talks about how the Bills don't give the ball away but they don't take it away either. Another game without forcing a turnover.

Scene Setters:
- The Bills wore their white jerseys with blue pants for this game.
- NFL players were allowed to wear special cleats this week with sayings to support their favorite cause. McCoy wore ones that supported ALS. Taylor honored Olmsted Center in Buffalo. Reggie Bush honored his fallen friend, former Jet Joe McKnight. Jerry Hughes honored the U.S. Army.
- There was a moment of silence before the game to honor those lost in the tragic warehouse fire in Oakland not far from the Stadium.
- The Bills won the toss for the 11th time in 12 games this year. 10 of those times, including in this game, they deferred to the 2nd half. The Raiders had to punt on the opening drive.

Key Matchup Results:
The winners of the battles highlighted in our preview article:
RT Jordan Mills vs. LB Khalil Mack: Winner: Mack. The Bills had a plan for Mack and it worked early as you barely heard his name until he forced a fourth quarter interception and then was in the backfield a lot in the final minutes including forcing and recovering a fumble.
RB LeSean McCoy vs. LB Malcolm Smith: Winner: McCoy. For a good portion of this game he was dominant but he was shutdown in the fourth quarter.
DB Kevon Seymour vs. WR Michael Crabtree: Winner: Crabtree. Seymour did a nice job in coverage before giving up a TD in the fourth quarter. Crabtree had a few big catches but a big drop as well.
LB Jerry Hughes vs. RT Austin Howard: Winner: Howard. Hughes was active early but they shut him down later as well.

Keys To The Game Results:
How the keys highlighted in our preview article turned out:
1. Red Zone Defense: Failure! The Raiders owned it in the second half with two touchdowns from in close.
2. Get Offense Humming: Success! They did getting it going to get the lead but they just ran out of steam in the second half.
3. Hold On To The Ball: Failure! When the Bills were still in the game, Mack did make a play. He hit Taylor's arm as he threw and it was picked off deep in Bills territory.

My Take:
The Bills came ready to play and shockingly opened up a big lead in the 2nd half. Unfortunately there was too much time left on the clock and the final 25 minutes of the game resembled so many late season West Coast games as the Bills wilted down the stretch. The Bills haven't won a big road game against a good team in 12 years. Just when it looked like it might happen on this day the Bills remembered who they were and got rolled over for a very depressing loss that likely clinches the playoff drought going to an unbelievable 17 years.

What's Ahead:
The Bills head back home for their first of three straight home games as the Steelers make the three hour trek from Pittsburgh.

  • LeSean McCoy - Had another great game where he dominated for a good portion of the game. Finished with 130 yards rushing and 61 yards receiving.

  • Goats
  • Colton Schmidt - Had a very poor game with three terrible punts.
  • Sammy Watkins - He was out of sync with Taylor so it seems he was in the wrong spots at times. He also dropped a pass.

  • Player Of The Week
  • LeSean McCoy - He is by far the best player on this football team.

  • Positional Breakdown and Grades Gamebook
    Raiders Game Preview
    Gameday Homepage

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