Opportunistic BILLS rout sloppy RAIDERS
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Kyle Williams is getting tired of hearing about the skeptics counting out the Buffalo Bills.
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 17year 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 48yard 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.”
Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Buffalo Bills defensive back Leonard Johnson (24) during the first half of an NFL football game in Orchard Park, N.J. on Sunday. AP/ADRIAN KRAUS PHOTOS