Another week, another come-from-behind win for the Raiders. This time they overcame a third quarter onslaught by the Bills to take their first lead in the fourth quarter and run away with it.
An illegal formation penalty on Austin Howard called back a 52-yard catch by Amari Cooper to get things off to a rough start for the Raiders.
Despite having the league’s top rushing offense, the Bills flipped the script and passed the ball on their first drive. They ran one time on that drive which went to the 3-yard-line where the Raiders were able to hold them to a field goal.
The Raiders were able to answer, though. A 22-yard run by Latavius Murray around the left edge got the Raiders next drive started. A 26-yard catch by Mychal Rivera put them in scoring position and Sebastian Janikowski added a 47-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3.
To finish out the first quarter, the Bills went on another long drive. This time the running game played a large role, including a 29-yard run by Mike Gillislee up the middle to put the Bills at the Oakland 14-yard-line. They ran on the final 7 plays and finished it off with a 1-yard run up the gut to take a 10-3 lead.
After that, the Raiders defense showed up with undrafted rookie James Cowser sacking Tyrod Taylor helping to force a punt.
A shanked 33-yard punt gave the Raiders a short field. They drove to the 8-yard-line, but end zone drops by Seth Roberts and Michael Crabtree would contribute to them settling for a field goal. A Crabtree taunting penalty would make the field goal a 41-yarder, which Janikowski hit to bring the score to 10-6.
Another stop by the Raiders defense gave them the ball back with :30 seconds left in the first half at their own 15-yard-line. Completions to Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and a couple to Latavius Murray set them up for a 47-yard field goal attempt. Sebastian Janikowski hit it to send the two teams into the half with the Bills leading 10-9.
The second half began with the Bills gouging the Raiders on the ground. They had 98 yards rushing in the first half and picked up another 66 yards on a 54-yard LeSean McCoy run and finished off with a 12-yard touchdown scramble by Tyrod Taylor.
They would score on their second possession as well, taking what appeared to be a commanding 24-9 lead.
But no lead is commanding against the Raiders these days.
The Raiders would then go on a 29-0 run including three straight touchdown drives along with three stops to take a 30-24 lead early in the fourth quarter.
First it was consecutive completions to Clive Walford for 18 and Seth Roberts for 14 followed up by a 14-yard Murray run two plays later. A 3-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree finished it off.
A defensive stop for a Bills three-and-out followed by a shank punt and a 17-yard return by Jalen Richard had the Raiders next drive starting at the Buffalo 38-yard-line. Richard picked up 21 more yards on a run up the middle. A 9-yard pass to Rivera to the one-yard-line and on the next play Murray scored the touchdown to make it a 1-point game once again at 24-23.
A gorgeous over-the-shoulder AC/DC connection for a 37-yard touchdown gave the Raiders their first lead of the game at 30-24.
Khalil Mack began to really terrorize Bills blockers and Tyrod Taylor on the next series, pressuring him several times to help with a three-and-out.
On the ensuing drive, the Raiders would punt for the first time in a while, and it was a beauty. Marquette King’s punt traveled 55 yards where Taiwan Jones raced down the field to keep it out of the end zone. The Bills would line up at their own 4-yard-line and on the first play, Mack once again got pressure, hitting the ball as it left Taylor’s hand. The ball was a fluttering duck and Nate Allen picked it off to give the Raiders the ball at the 16-yard-line.
They scored on four plays with a 3-yard run by Murray for the touchdown. This time they went for two where Carr hooked up with Seth Roberts to take a 38-24 lead.
A long drive by the Bills threatened to make it interesting, but Khalil Mack did what he did the week before, strip sacking Taylor and recovering the ball. The Raiders took over with 3:20 remaining and drained the clock out to end it.
What looked to be the dreaded “trap game” in the third quarter, turned into more late game heroics by Derek Carr and Khalil Mack as they go onto the big 38-24 win.
The Raiders improve to 10-2 on the season, keeping their one-game lead over the Chiefs in the AFC West. The Bills drop to 6-6 on the season.