Opportunistic Bills rout sloppy Raiders, 34-14
By JOHN WAWROW, AP Sports Writer
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Kyle Williams is getting tired of hearing about the skeptics counting out the Buffalo Bills.
Perhaps, a 34-14 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday might get the doubters to start believing.
“I don’t know how many times we have to answer the question, but I don’t care what anybody thinks,” the 12-year veteran defensive tackle said.
“We bring guys in and they go out there and they play for the team and they give it all that they’ve got. There’s a lot to love about that.”
What’s not to love about a Bills team that improved to 5-2 to match its best start during a 17-year postseason drought — the longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports leagues.
Rookie linebacker Matt Milano scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 40-yard fumble return on a rain-slick field. And the Bills injury- and star-depleted defense forced four turnovers while playing minus two starters in the defensive backfield and two days after trading their highest-paid player, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus , to Jacksonville.
“This team just shows you heart,” running back LeSean McCoy said. “It’s hard to go against the eye of the tiger, a team that will claw and fight you to the end. It’s hard to beat a team like that.”
After allowing Jamize Olawale to score on a 1-yard touchdown run on Oakland’s opening drive, the Bills responded by scoring the next 27 points.
Tyrod Taylor threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Andre Holmes and scored on a 1-yard run. McCoy had a season-best 151 yards rushing and also scored on a 48-yard run.
The Raiders (3-5) were sloppy and ineffective in being out-played in all three phases. Oakland lost for the fourth time in five games, and dreadfully failed to carry over the momentum following its dramatic 31-30 come-from-behind victory over Kansas City on Oct. 19.
“We know we’ve got a great offense, so when we’re not able to put plays together and finish drives, it’s definitely frustrating,” running back DeAndre’ Washington said. “We’ve got to dust ourselves off and have a great second half to the season.”
With a steady drizzle falling for much of the afternoon, Washington began the Raiders string of turnovers in the final minute of the first half.
Catching a short pass over the middle, he turned up field only to be struck from behind by cornerback Leonard Johnson. The ball popped loose and landed directly in the hands of Milano, who returned it up the right sideline.
The Raiders then turned the ball over on each of their first two possessions of the second half. Milano, starting in place of Ramon Humber (broken right thumb), forced Jalen Richard to fumble a punt return, and then Derek Carr’s pass over the middle was tipped by linebacker Preston Brown, and intercepted by safety Micah Hyde.
The turnovers led to Stephen Hauschka hitting 35- and 44-yard field goals.
“Clearly (turnovers) were the biggest factor,” coach Jack Del Rio said. “Not many people are winning with minus-4.”
Raiders: Carr finished 31 of 48 for 313 yards and a 4-yard touchdown to Washington and two interceptions. After scoring on their opening drive on Jamize Olawale’s 1-yard run, the Raiders’ next eight possessions ended with four punts, three turnovers and a failed bid to score at the end of the second quarter.
Bills: Taylor went 20 of 27 for 165 yards to improve to 20-16, and 4-16 when Buffalo falls behind by four at any point of the game.
Along with Trae Elston intercepting Carr to end the Raiders’ final drive, Buffalo has forced three or more turnovers in each of its past four games.
That included a 30-27 win over Tampa Bay last weekend in which rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White forced and recovered receiver Adam Humphries’ fumble to set up Hauschka’s 30-yard game-winning field goal with 14 seconds left.
Raiders: Played without two starters in their secondary with safety Karl Joseph (groin) sidelined along with cornerback David Amerson (foot). Dexter McDonald started in place of Amerson, while Shalom Luani started for Joseph. WR Seth Roberts was active but did not play after falling ill before the game, Del Rio said.
Bills: Buffalo was also missing two starting defensive backs with safety Jordan Poyer (right knee) sidelined along with cornerback E.J. Gaines (hamstring).
The Raiders managed just 54 yards rushing, with starting running back Marshawn Lynch serving a one-game suspension for coming off the bench and shoving an official against Kansas City.
Raiders: Staying on the East Coast in preparing to play at Miami on Nov. 5
Bills: At the New York Jets on Thursday night.
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