Dec 4, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Mike Gillislee (35)d celebrates after scoring on a one-yard touchdown run in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Buffalo Bills made the long journey to Oakland and turned out an exciting game — despite the loss.
The Buffalo Bills came out of the gates hot and wanted to show this Oakland Raiders’ squad that we didn’t fly all the way down here for nothing.
The Raiders would start with the ball, but would only travel 10 yards before being forced to punt on their opening drive. That’s when Tyrod Taylor stepped onto the field for the first time.
In the opening drive, Taylor went 6-7 for 75 yards, which included 3 receptions by LeSean McCoy for 21 yards, two to Sammy Watkins for 32 yards and one to Justin Hunter for 22 yards. Unfortunately, they couldn’t cross the endzone after getting to the 3-yard line and were stuck with a field goal.
The Raiders followed that up with a field goal of their own to tie the game up at 3-3.
The Bills’ second drive was almost identical to their first drive. McCoy was still struggling to find the hole and ended up getting 5 yards in his first three carries. After an 8-yard rush by McCoy, Mike Gillislee entered the game and opened with a 29-yard rush. After a couple more plays on the ground, the Bills were at the 5-yard line at the end of the first quarter.
With just five yards to go, Mike Gillislee chipped away four of them on the first play of the second quarter. After the Raiders stopped Jerome Felton for no-gain, Gillislee finished the job with a one-yard TD run. He had 39 yards on 4 carries during the drive.
After scoring on their first two drives, the Bills enjoyed a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter. They even followed that up by stopping the Raiders again and giving the ball back to the offense.
On their third drive of the game, the Buffalo Bills were stuck with a 3rd-and-14 after the Raiders sacked Tyrod Taylor. He would rebound with a 21-yard rush for the first down, but the play was negated due to a holding penalty on beloved guard Richie Incognito. On 3rd-and-24, Taylor’s pass to Marquise Goodwin was incomplete. The Bills would punt for the first time of the day.
The Raiders would start to move the ball on the following possession and got a little help from a questionable pass interference penalty called on Stephon Gilmore. He had a hand on Amari Cooper, but the ball definitely looked uncatchable.
Later in that drive in the red zone, Michael Crabtree had two bad plays that cost the Raiders a chance at a touchdown. The first came when he missed a catchable pass in the endzone and then he followed that up with a taunting penalty for an altercation with Stephon Gilmore.
The Raiders were once again held to a field goal, bringing the Buffalo Bills‘ lead to 10-6 with 2:50 left in the first half.
With a chance to strengthen their lead before they open the second half with the ball, the Bills did the exact opposite. They failed to score on the following drive and were forced to punt. With 30 seconds remaining, they let the Raiders get in field goal position.
With a 28-yard field goal, the Bills were only leading 10-9.
(click the blue box to continue to the second half)
Dec 4, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs the ball against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The second half of Sunday’s Bills-Raiders matchup was even more exciting than the first half.
If you remember our last game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars, when LeSean McCoy opened the second half with a 75-yard touchdown run on the first play, then you will enjoy this.
After a good kick return by Brandon Tate, LeSean McCoy opened the second half with a 54-yard rush. Although he didn’t bring it home, Tyrod Taylor followed that play up with a 12-yard rushing TD. It’s Taylor’s sixth rushing TD on the season and his 5th in the past six games. It was an exciting 2-play drive that went 66 yards in 57 seconds.
They started to move the ball well once again and had some key plays that kept the drive going. After Sammy Watkins‘ third reception of the day for six yards, the Bills found themselves on the five-yard line.
On 3rd and 1 at the 2-yard line, the Bills decided to give the ball to Mike Gillislee again and it payed off with his second TD of the game. The Buffalo Bills quickly opened their lead to 24-9 with 9 minutes left in the second half. It was clear that Gillislee was the man the Bills’ wanted on the goal line.
Unfortunately, the Raiders started to figure things out as well. In the following drive, Oakland ended up getting to the Bills’ 5-yard line rather quickly. After an incomplete pass and 2-yard rush by Latavius Murray, Derek Carr connected with Michael Crabtree for a 3-yard TD. The Raiders’ first touchdown of the game came with 5:17 left in the third quarter as they now trailed 24-16.
Much like the first half, the Bills followed their first two dominant drives with a less-than-impressive third drive of the second half. Not only were they forced to punt, but LeSean McCoy was injured on the play — which is never good for the Bills.
With good field position, Jalen Richard brought the Raiders to the 13-yard line with a 21-yard rush. With a 9-yard reception by Mychal Rivera, the Raiders were suddenly at the one-yard line. They finished the drive with a rushing touchdown by Latavius Murray. Opting for the extra point, the Raiders were still down 24-23 with under a minute left in the third quarter.
After letting the Raiders back in the game, the Bills needed a hot fourth quarter to pull this one out. The good news was McCoy was just dealing with a cramp and was back in the game on the following drive.
Unfortunately, the Bills were stuck in a 3rd-and-15 situation on their own 20-yard line as the third quarter ended.
(click the blue box to continue to the fourth quarter)
Dec 4, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) prepares to throw a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The Buffalo Bills were forced to punt just seconds into the fourth quarter.
And once again, the Raiders’ offense started to move the ball with ease thanks to the timely throws by Derek Carr. On third-and-10, Carr completes a 22-yard pass to Rivera. Shortly after, he completes a 37-yard catch to Amari Cooper for a touchdown. The Raiders took the lead 30-24 with 14 minutes left in the game.
The Raiders’ fast-moving offense is what scared most Bills’ fans coming into this game and it was finally catching up to them. Even worse, the Buffalo Bills’ offense was starting to cool off as they were forced to punt yet again after their third straight three and out.
Carr opened the next drive up with an 28-yard pass to Crabtree, but luckily the Bills forced the Raiders to punt and received the ball with just under 11 minutes left in the game — still down 6 points.
Then Tyrod Taylor did something he rarely does — intercept the ball. The Raiders were given the ball at the 16-yard line and didn’t waste time before scoring a touchdown off a 3-yard run by Murray. The Bills were down 38-24 after a successful 2-point conversion.
The Bills needed to score a touchdown on the following drive if they wanted to stay in this game.
You could tell Taylor started to be a bit more cautious with the ball, completing short passes to get back into the flow of things. The Bills would get to the Raiders’ 40-yard line after a 12-yard catch by Goodwin.
Regaining confidence, Taylor scrambled for a nice 9-yard gain as the Bills’ started to close in on the endzone. They would convert on a 3rd-and-15 with a 16-yard reception by McCoy, saving the most important drive of the game. Unfortunately, Tyrod Taylor would make another mistake.
This time he fumbled the ball, which was recovered by none other than Khalil Mack, as the Bills’ continued to choke in the fourth quarter.
– Make the OL look silly. – Get the sack – Force fumble – Recover fumble
Dec 4, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) celebrates after scoring on a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 4, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) prepares to throw the ball against the Buffalo Bills in the first quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Oakland Raiders’ Statistics
Derek Carr: 19/35, 260 yards, 2 TD
Latavius Murray: 20 carries, 82 yards, 2 TD
Jalen Richard: 9 carries, 53 yards
Michael Crabtree: 7 receptions, 74 yards, TD
Amari Cooper: 2 receptions, 59 yards, TD
Mychal Rivera: 3 receptions, 57 yards
Perry Riley Jr.: 10 tackles
Khalil Mack: 7 tackles, one sack, one pass defended, one fumble recovery
Nate Allen: 3 tackles, INT
Bruce Irvin: 5 tackles, one sack
Lastly, let’s take a quick look at the reactions from the locker room after the disappointing loss.
Dec 4, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) carries the ball on a 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Oakland Raiders during a NFL football game at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
It was a disappointing loss that depleted their chances of making the playoffs. Here’s a quick Twitter feed of what was going on.
There’s no doubt the Buffalo Bills’ playoff chances took a hit with their loss to the Oakland Raiders. The chances are slim and it will require wins the rest of the way to say the very least.
After the loss, Bills’ players and coaches talked about what happened. Let’s start with head coach Rex Ryan and what he had to say: