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Raiders week 8 Ballers & Busters vs Bills: Part two

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The second part; where we discuss the Busters.

NFL: Oakland Raiders at Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Busters

Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington

This was to be the game where these two second year mighty mites proved they could carry the load in the absence of the team’s workhorse back. Marshawn Lynch was suspended for the game, so it was on them. And they blew it.

Richard’s bad day began on the opening kickoff. The Bills went with the ground ball, presumably to keep it out of the hands of Cordarrelle Patterson. Richard looked to field it only to have it skip through his hands and between his legs. He scrambled to run back and get it as it went out of bounds at the 19-yard-line.

In the second quarter, with the Raiders looking to go on a drive to take the lead at the half, Derek Carr dumped the ball off to Washington who turned up field and was hit, causing the ball to pop out and right into the hands of linebacker Matt Milano, who returned it 40 yards for the score. The tables turned on that play and never turned back.

Back to Richard, who fielded a punt off of the Bills’ first series of the third quarter, fell down, but got back up untouched only to get hit by that same Milano guy and, just like Washington, have the ball pop out. It gave the Bills the ball in scoring range and with a net of -1 yard of offense in the third quarter, they had another three points to go up 17-7.

Oh, and Richard would muff the ensuing kickoff again. Same ground ball kick that he once again couldn’t handle, this time he fell on it at the 18-yard-line.

Derek Carr

Down 17-7 in the third, it was up to Carr to try and get back in it. In three plays, he threw a pass over the middle that was batted down by the middle linebacker, threw at the feet of Cordarrelle Patterson for one yard, and threw behind Michael Crabtree over the middle and it was intercepted.

The Bill got the ball at their own 41-yard-line, picked up a few yards to get in field goal range, and went up 20-7. Another three-and-out followed by a long touchdown drive by the Bills would put the game away on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Things started off well enough. For the most part Carr was on point on the opening drive, which went for a touchdown to take an early 7-0 lead. The Raiders wouldn’t even get another first down until midway through the second quarter, and that was off of a defensive holding penalty.

Washington’s fumble which was returned for a touchdown in the second quarter left the Raiders with :22 seconds on the clock to try and make something happen at the end of the first half. They got the ball to the Buffalo 47-yard-line with :01 remaining following a timeout. But instead of taking a shot at the end zone on a Hail Mary, Carr dumped it off to Richard for 15 yards. Worthless play. Outside of the stats, why even bother?

Carr completed 31 passes for 313 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions. Ten of those passes for 90 yards and the touchdown occurred in the 4th quarter after the team was already down 27-7.

NaVorro Bowman

I know. He led the team in tackles. So, how can he be a Buster? Well, first of all by not making a single big play in the game. He was out of position on a 14-yard run on the Bills’ first touchdown drive. In the third quarter, after Carr’s interception, Bowman missed a tackle on a 7-yard run and on the next play was blocked on an 8-yard run that put the Bills in field goal range.

The first play of the Bills’ next series, he was blocked on an 18-yard run. Later in the drive, he gave up a 4-yard first down catch that put the Bills in first and goal at the 4-yard-line. Then on fourth and goal at the one, Bowman was flagged for encroachment. That moved the ball to the half yard line, which allowed Tyrod Taylor to simply reach the ball over the goal line for the touchdown.

Bowman was among those blocked on the 48-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy that gave us the final score of 34-14.

TJ Carrie

Early in the second quarter, the Raiders were still up 7-0. Then the Bills mounted their first scoring drive of the day. They lined up in third and 2 from the 12-yard-line and Carrie gave up a 9-yard catch to his old teammate, Andre Holmes. Two plays later, Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was flushed from the pocket, rolled left and found Holmes again with Carrie trailing for the touchdown.

All told, Carrie surrendered five catches for 44 yards and a touchdown.

Donald Penn

That first drive for the Raiders showed some positive signs. But it also showed some troubling signs. One was Penn getting worked around by a dip move from Jerry Hughes to allow him to get into the backfield and tackle Jalen Richard for a loss of two.

It happened again in the second quarter. This time Hughes dipped inside to make the tackle for one yard on third and two and kill the drive.

Midway through the third quarter, the Raiders were down 20-7. If they were going to have a realistic shot at coming back, that effort needed to start immediately. On first down, Penn gave up another run stuff for two yards. An incompletion set up third and 8 and for some reason – perhaps the play design – Penn blocked the inside guy, leaving a free rusher. Carr’s pass sailed high in part due to the pressure from the outside.

Shalom Luani

I know, I know. He’s a rookie making his first start. Well, hopefully he will get better. But for now...

Just after the Bills tied the game on that Andre Holmes touchdown catch, it looked like the Raiders might have an answer. Jamize Olawale reversed field on his kick return and took it for 65 yards. But there was a flag on the field. It was on Luani who was called for an illegal block that brought it back and the Raiders drive would start at their own 19 instead of in scoring position.

Late in the third quarter, after the three turnovers had given the Bills a 13-point lead, the Bills were driving to put the game away. The biggest play on that drive, was Andre Holmes getting open up the right sideline. Dexter McDonald was covering and he handed him off thinking Luani was there to cover Holmes deep, but Luani bit inside, leaving Holmes wide open for a 36-yard gain. It set the Bills up at the 15-yard-line. They would score a few plays later to go up 27-7.

And finally, Luani was among those blocked to open the hole that McCoy ran through for a 48-yard touchdown to slam the door shut at the end.

Denico Autry, Eddie Vanderdoes

Not one single stat between them. No tackles, no pressures, no nothing. Both played 37 snaps (54%) and both were ghosts. Autry allowed a 14-yard run on the Bills first touchdown drive. The next series, Vanderdoes gave up a 5-yard run. In the third quarter Aurty gave up a 7-yard run that put the Bills in field goal range.

The next drive was the Bills’ big late touchdown drive The first play Vanderdoes gave up an 18-yard run. A few plays later Autry gave up a 6-yard run. Then on first down at the 15, he gave up a 7-yard run. Two plays later, in first and goal at the 4-yard-line, he gave up a 3-yard run to the one-yard-line.

See the Ballers