Greetings, Raider Nation! Raiderdamus the Great and Powerful is on the job, to tell you all who were the big winners and big losers from today's huge win over the Buffalo Bills. Today's game was a tale of two halves (or more accurately, two and a half quarters vs. a quarter and a half) and the Raiders came out on top for the sixth time in a row, securing their first ten-win season in forever and setting themselves up as the top dogs in the AFC.
So let's get right down to business.
1) Khalil Mack
What more can we say at this point about Khalil Mack? Not only is he the clear frontrunner for Defensive Player of the Year, he's also putting himself in the onversation for MVP with performances like this which are taking over games. Mack's line tonight was seven tackles (four solo), a sack, a fumble recovery, a pass defensed, and a quarterback hit. The only thing he didn't do was have a pick-six, but he tipped a ball in the end zone that Nate Allen did intercept. We are not worthy to witness his greatness. Khalil Mack is love. Khalil Mack is life.
2) Latavius Murray
Even though running up the middle was tough sledding against Marcell Dareus and the stout Bills front seven, Murray kept chopping that wood and made the most of his goal-line carries, punching in two touchdowns from short yardage. He also added three receptions for 23 yards. In a game where LeSean McCoy was electrifying, Murray was also extremely effective.
3) LeSean McCoy
McCoy was his usual elusive and powerful self today, rushing for 130 yards on only 17 carries and exhibiting cat-like reflexes and quickness. He was also Buffalo's leading receiver on the day with 61 yards through the air. I'm sure his fantasy owners just loved Mike Gillislee vulturing two touchdowns from McCoy.
4) Bill Musgrave
The Raiders were down 24-9 in the middle of the third quarter. That didn't matter. Musgrave and his exlosive offense led by Derek Carr simply took control of the game and kept scoring, and scoring, and scoring. Buffalo simply could not keep up with receivers Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and tight end Mychal Rivera and didn't lay a finger on Carr today. It took some time for the offense to get going, but once they did they were an unstoppable death machine.
1) Tyrod Taylor
After the first half, everyone was thinking Taylor was just going to cruise to his first 300-yard passing game. Not so fast my friend. Oakland quickly realized that Taylor is only good when he's rolling out of the pocket, and so long as they kept him in the pocket he would screw up. And screw up he did, with two turnovers at crucial moments late in the game, and missing wide open receivers left and right.
2) Rex Ryan
Every game after Week 10 was a must-win for Ryan and the Bills if they wanted to earn a playoff spot, but they completely fell apart in the second half, especially Ryan's vaunted defense which game up 29 unanswered points to end the game. I guess Rex felt the agony of de-feet tonight.
3) Michael Crabtree
Yes, he caught a crucial touchdown pass in the third quarter, but he dropped several passes earlier in the game as well as getting a taunting penalty after an incomplete pass in the end zone. Crabtree was a big reason Oakland had to climb out of a hole in the first place. He stepped up at the end, but he put the Raiders in a tough spot.
4) The Chiefs
They won today, in stupid and aggravating fashion. They might have entertained dreams of Oakland losing this game and KC being in first place. Not so fast my friend! If the Raiders can beat the Chiefs on Thursday, that will make it extremely difficult for KC to win this division. Also, Matt Ryan is a punk.