Oakland Raiders Face Resurgent Buffalo Bills team this Sunday.
The Oakland Raiders go on the road to face the resurgent 4-2 Buffalo Bills. The Bills resurgence this season is being led by an aggressive defense that has given Buffalo a +10 in takeaways so far this season. They are number one in the NFL in that category.
This defense is not exactly playing lights out as they have allowed a pedestrian 342.3 yards per game, which ranks 21st overall. No, its pure situational football, and aggressive grit at the right moments. This defense took two interceptions from Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback Matt Ryan to the house. It’s a true “bend but don’t break” defense only allowing 16.83 points per game through six weeks. And it’s ranked 7th overall against the run with a stingy 84.5 yards per game given up on the ground.
Defense is not the Bills only strength this season. Bills running back LeSean McCoy is still dangerous, but only boasting a 3.4 yards per carry this season. Additionally, Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor is a threat with both his arm and his legs. Containing these two players will be a priority for defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. and the Raiders defense.
Bowman, Mack, and co. will try to shut down an already meek Bills offense.
The Bills offense has averaged under 18 points per game through six games. Defensive end Khalil Mack and newly acquired linebacker NaVorro Bowman will focus on stuffing the run and keeping Taylor pressured, and contained to the pocket. This is a good challenge for a Raiders defense that has been decent most times this season, especially in the 4th quarter last week but has given up too many big plays at key moments.
Offensively, the Raiders need to focus on their passing attack that went nuclear last week versus the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bills secondary enters this weeks contest in the same position as the Chiefs did last week. They are not very good at defending an aerial attack, with the exception of being tied for second with nine interceptions. If quarterback Derek Carr and Raiders offensive coordinator Todd Downing can keep their foot on the gas, and protect the ball, this could lead to another big week for the Raiders scoring machine.
This game really boils down to which Raiders offense shows up and protecting the ball. Even being on the road, the Raiders have a great opportunity to dominate the resurgent Bills on both sides of the ball. At 3-4, the Raiders are still in danger of not making the playoffs and really need to play with that passion and fire they did against the Chiefs, in the “Thursday Night Thriller”, last week.