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Raiders-Bills Week 2: 5 keys to an upset victory

We look at what Raiders need to do in Buffalo

Los Vegas Raiders v Denver Broncos
Josh Jacobs
Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The 1-0 Las Vegas Raiders play at the 0-1 Buffalo Bills on Sunday with a 10 a.m. kickoff. Let’s look at some keys to a Raiders’ upset victory:

Get ground game going:

The Raiders didn’t have a great outing in the running game in their 17-16 Week 1 win at the Denver Broncos. 2022 NFL rushing yardage king Josh Jacobs had just 48 yards on 19 carries. The offensive line struggled in its running protection at times, although it was excellent in pass protection. Remember, Jacobs missed all of training camp, so perhaps he and the offensive line need some time to knock off the rust. Whatever the case, the Raiders will need more production from their star tailback as they need to control the clock and keep the Bills’ potent offense off the field as much as possible. In a good sign, Jacobs did do his usual Jacobs thing and made defenders miss often in Week 1. Plus, Breece Hall of the Jets ripped off some big runs against Buffalo in Week 1. So, there are signs that Jacobs may be primed for a big game.

Buffalo Bills v Las Vegas Raiders
Josh Allen against the Raiders in 2020
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Get to Josh Allen:

The Raiders’ defensive line didn’t have a great game in Denver other than star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby. He, of course, always has great games. The Raiders had just two sacks and wasn’t able to get constant pressure on Denver quarterback Russell Wilson. If that’s the case against Josh Allen, the Bills will take much more advantage than the Broncos did in the passing game. The Raiders must bring the heat.

Cut down the penalties:

The Raiders had 10 penalties for 97 yards last week. Six of the penalties gave the Broncos a first down, including on a Wilson fumble and on a roughing the punter infraction. The Raiders are big underdogs in this game. That type of self destruction will not help an underdog pull off a big upset. So, the Raiders must clean up their act in this game.

Get more receivers involved:

In his first game as a Raider, free-agent addition Jakobi Meyers had nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Star receiver Davante Adams had 6 catches for 66 yards. DeAndre Carter was the only other receiver with a catch and he had one for five yards. The only catch from a tight end was a 20-yard reception by Austin Hooper. Big-dollar receiver Hunter Renfrow had no targets and he played just 13 snaps. Second-round pick, tight end Michael Mayer had no catches and played 29 snaps. With Meyers dealing with a concussion, the Raiders need much more production from their other weapons this week.

Get turnovers:

Creating turnovers has been a major point of emphasis this year. Yet, in Week 1, the Raiders didn’t get any turnovers. Yes, one was wiped out by a penalty, but that’s the way it goes. A lot of things must go right for Las Vegas to win this game, and getting multiple turnovers (and winning the turnover battle) will go a long way to making this upset a reality. And, of course, the opportunity will be there. Allen was picked off three times and lost a fumble in the loss to the Jets in Week 1.