Post-game recap of the Oakland Raiders 38-24 victory in over the Buffalo Bills in Week 13.
The Oakland Raiders moved to 10-2 on the season after a thunderous comeback victory at home over Rex Ryan and the Buffalo Bills, notching their sixth straight victory. The win keeps Oakland in 1st place in the AFC West, with crucial road games upcoming against each of their division rivals the final four weeks of the season. The win also moves Oakland into a tie with the New England Patriots for the best record in the AFC.
The Raiders control their own destiny in the race for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, as they currently have one fewer loss against the common opponents they share with New England.
After trailing 24-9 midway through the 3rd quarter, Michael Crabtree came up aces again for the Raiders in crunch time — as he has done time and time (and time) again this year — catching a 3-yard strike from Derek Carr to bring Oakland to within shouting distance of the Bills at 24-16 after the Sebastian Janikowski extra point.
Latavius Murray punched in a score from 1-yard out minutes later, after the Bills handed Oakland very good field position, to cut the Buffalo lead to single point with under a minute remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The 4th quarter belonged to Raiders on Sunday, something they have become extremely comfortable with this season. Amari Cooper and Derek Carr connected for a 37-yard touchdown with under a minute of game time elapsed in the final period, giving Oakland their first lead of the game at 30-24.
11 plays later, wily-veteran Nate Allen secured a Khalil Mack-disrupted Tyrod Taylor pass for an interception with 10:45 to go in the contest at the Buffalo 16-yard line. Minutes later, Murray punched in his second touchdown of the game, and Carr found his slot receiver Seth Roberts on the two-point conversion to give the Raiders a 38-24 lead with 8:34 to go. This would be the final points of the contest for both teams, and capped a run of 29 unanswered points by the Raiders.
Mack put his second straight game on ice with a strip-sack, recovering his own forced fumble of Taylor at the Oakland 22-yard line with 3:20 to go. It was the former Buffalo product’s seventh straight game with at least one sack over a span that has seen him record nine total.
Carr had another outstanding game for Oakland just one week after dislocating his throwing-hand pinky, completing 19-35 passes for 260 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions, good for a 97.3 passer rating. Carr bested his counterpart in Taylor, who was 18 of 35 for 191 yards, no touchdowns, one interception and a 55.8 passer rating.
Murray again paced the Raiders ground attack, with 83 yards on 20 carries (4.1 YPC) and two touchdowns. Latavius was spelled by an outstanding performance by rookie Jalen Richard, who added 53 yards on nine carries of his own (5.9 YPC).
Buffalo lead-back LeSean McCoy gashed the Raider-defense with 191 total yards on 24 touches (8.0 yards per touch). Five other Bills averaged over 10.0 yards per touch.
Crabtree, Cooper and Mychal Rivera paced the Oakland air attack on the afternoon. King Crab recorded 74 yards and one touchdown on 7 receptions, Cooper had 59 yards and one touchdown on 2 receptions, and Rivera averaged 19 yards per catch on three receptions (57 yards).
Murray went over 100 total yards on the afternoon with 23 yards on three catches to go along with his 82 yards rushing.
Perry Riley Jr. led Oakland with 10 total tackles (eight solo) but wasn’t to be outdone by the superstar-Mack, who had seven total (four solo) to go along with his one sack and one pass defended. Malcolm Smith, Sean Smith, David Amerson, Bruce Irvin, and Reggie Nelson all recorded at least five total tackles and James Cowser added a sack.
Richard had all three of the team’s kick returns, returning one kickoff for 22 yards and two punts 17 total yards.
Sebastian Janikowski was again perfect on the game, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts (with a long of 47 yards) and all three of his extra points.
Marquette King had an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty after picking up the flag that was thrown when he was roughed on a punt, putting Oakland in a 1st & 25 late in the game, but with the contest in hand. He was excellent when he punted however, notching 44.2 yards per punt on five punts and pinning Buffalo inside the 20 twice (one of which was pinned inside the five by Andre Holmes).
Oakland will begin their brutal final four week stretch of the season when they visit the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead in four days for Thursday Night Football at 5:25 PM PST.