The Oakland Raiders flew into Buffalo looking to build on a big win against the Chiefs last week, taking on the Bills.
Head coach Jack Del Rio showed some urgency on the Raiders opening drive, going for it on 4th and 2 from the Buffalo 45-yard line. Fullback Jamize Olawale took the handoff up the middle and got the first down after some second-effort.
Just two plays later, offensive coordinator Todd Downing attacked downfield much like the Raiders did last week against the Chiefs. Derek Carr found veteran receiver Michael Crabtree downfield for a big 22-yard line to give put them near the red zone. Olawale punched the ball in from the one-yard line a few plays later, giving the Raiders the early 7-0 lead.
The Raiders defense got off to a strong start, holding the Bills scoreless for the first quarter. But they couldn’t do it forever, when a familiar face put the Bills on the scoreboard. Former Raiders wide receiver Andre Holmes got open in the back of the end zone and hauled in Tyrod Taylor’s pass to tie up the game.
Bills punter Brian Moorman pinned the Raiders back on their own 2-yard line, giving Carr another chance to get on the board with just 2:01 left on the clock with three timeouts.
Looking to get on the board one last time before the half, Carr found running back DeAndre Washington but he fumbled the ball into the hands of linebacker Matt Milano’s hands to give the Bills another touchdown and the 14-7 lead at half.
With the rain still falling in Buffalo, the Raiders offensive playmakers continued to struggle to hold on to the ball. Following another stop by the Raiders defense, punt returner Jalen Richard stumbled on the return but got up, only to be stripped by Milano again and recovered by Mike Tolbert on the Raiders 15-yard line. The Raiders defense would do a great job holding the Bills to just a field goal, extending the Raiders deficit to 17-7.
Carr looked for Crabtree deep down the middle of the field looking to match the Bills field goal, but linebacker Preston Brown made a nice play to leap up and tip the ball for safety Micah Hyde to record his fifth interception of the season.
The Raiders third turnover for the day would once again give the Bills the ball in Raiders territory. The Raiders defense would once again come up big, forcing a three-and-out and just a field goal to extend the Bills’ lead to 20-7.
Needing a stop, the Raiders defense forced a 3rd and 13 but once again could not force an incompletion. Former Raider Holmes got wide open again, hauling in a 36-yard pass to extend the drive into Raiders territory. The Bills decided to go for it on fourth and goal on the one-yard line, where Taylor dove over the offensive line to punch the ball in and extend the score to 27-7.
Carr finally got the offense going on the next drive facing a three-touchdown deficit and just one quarter left to play. The veteran quarterback went 7/8, throwing for 61 yards, including the game-ending four-yard touchdown pass to Washington, making the score 27-14 with 10:50 left in the game.
The Raiders looked like they were going to get their much-needed three and out, but Taylor found wide receiver Jordan Mathews for a big nine-yard gain on 3rd and 4 to extend the drive. The Raiders defense would ultimately get the punt they need, but the Bills would run off over five minutes of game clock.
Needing two quick scores, Carr was forced to complete shallow passes underneath the defense as the Bills forced a 4th and 3. Needing a completion to extend the game, Carr’s pass to Cooper was wide and the Raiders turned the ball over on downs.
The Bills would tack on another touchdown with a 48-yard run by LeSean McCoy, making it the final score of 34-14.
The Raiders will stay in Sarasota, Fla. as they look to bounce back against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football next week.