Week 7 Game Recap: Buffalo Bills 17, Oakland Raiders 38
What you need to know
The Bills won the coin toss and again started the game with an impressive scoring drive. The team has yet to win a road game this season and QB Kelly Holcomb was looking for his first road victory as starter for the Bills. Holcomb played reasonably well in the game, throwing touchdown passes to Lee Evans and Josh Reed, but was unable to keep the Bills in the game in the second half.
Willis McGahee did not have much success on the ground, and his touches were limited as the Bills fell behind in the game.
The Billsí run defense again failed to stop the run, allowing a total of four rushing touchdowns. The pass defense was below par, giving up a number of big gains and a touchdown to Randy Moss. The defense did not create enough pressure on QB Kerry Collins, managing just two sacks on the day and one turnover. The Raiders also converted seven of 11 times on third down.
The first surprise of the day came when Randy Moss suited up wearing a bulky looking flak jacket after being listed as doubtful in the days leading up to the game. Moss did not start, but did see considerable playing time and scored, showing that he was much more than a decoy. The Raiders ended the day with over 400 yards of total offense.
Kerry Collins made a number of throws for big gains, and appeared comfortable throwing the ball to Doug Gabriel who saw increased playing time due to Moss being less than a hundred percent healthy. The Raidersí kick returns looked good in the hands of Chris Carr, giving them good field position on occasion.
The Raiders took advantage of the Billsí weak run defense with Lamont Jordan gaining over a hundred yards and three touchdowns. Zack Crockett also scored at the end of the game. The Raiders dominated possession in the second half, holding the ball for over 20 minutes.
What you ought to know
|QB Kelly Holcomb, Pass: 19 - 27 - 159 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 1 - 0 - 0|
Holcomb began the game looking for his first road victory as the Billsí starter and came up short. He played quite well, leading an 82 yard opening drive that ended in a five yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans. He led another impressive drive on the Billsí fourth possession after Terrence McGee had returned a kick 57 yards to give the Bills the ball at the Raidersí 40 yard line, but Shelton failed to convert on fourth and one at the goal line and the Bills came away with nothing. Holcomb overthrew Evans at the goal line on the Billsí next drive after the receiver had got open. The Bills scored a touchdown in the second half of a game for only the second time this season when Holcomb connected with Josh Reed. The pass was poorly thrown but Reed was able to go back and catch it before beating two defenders for a nine yard score and his first touchdown of the year. Holcomb was sacked three times in the game and also lost the ball on a bobbled snap. The Bills were not helped by an injury to RT Mike Williams, and then his backup Greg Jerman.
McGaheeís run of games with a touchdown ended at four. He might have kept the streak alive in this game but was stopped on third down at the one yard line. McGahee converted on third down on the Billsí opening touchdown drive but ended the day with only 16 carries for 50 yards after the Raiders established a lead and took the Bills away from their power running game. McGahee was targeted three times in the passing game, catching all three balls for a total of 34 yards.
Williams was used to spell McGahee on occasion and he caught his only target for a ten yard gain.
Shelton was targeted once in the passing game, taking the ball to the Raidersí two yard line. He carried the ball on a fourth and one at the Raidersí one yard line but was stopped and the Bills turned the ball over on downs.
|WR Lee Evans, Rush: 1 - 7 - 0, Rec: 3 - 19 - 1 (5 targets)|
The Bills ran Evans on a reverse on their opening drive, and he gained seven yards for a first down. Evans scored on a five yard reception from Holcomb to end that drive and score his first touchdown of the year. Evans was later overthrown at the goal line when clear of the defender on what should have been a touchdown. On another drive he bobbled a pass that should have given the Bills a first down, but they had to settle for a field goal instead after they challenged the play but failed to overturn the call.
Moulds caught a nine yard pass for a first down on the Billsí opening drive, but he was not a big threat in this game, ending with four catches for 36 yards.
Reed was only targeted five times in the game, but he made the most of his touches. He made a good move after the catch to bring up a first down on the Billsí opening drive. His main contribution came in the second half when he went back to catch an underthrown ball from Holcomb, before turning and beating two defenders for a nine yard touchdown, his first of the season.
Smith made the opening catch of the day, gaining 12 yards and a first down on the Billsí opening drive.
Campbell dropped a low pass on the opening drive of the game and was not much of a factor, ending with two catches for a total of seven yards on his four targets.
Lindell made a 41 yard field goal to bring the Bills level in the second quarter, and also converted his two extra point attempts.
This area of the game has to be one of the Billsí biggest concerns. After a good first half, the Bills were dominated on the ground in the second half, allowing 162 net rushing yards in the game at an average of 4.4 yards per carry. Lamont Jordan had the fourth 100 yard rushing game of his career and also scored three touchdowns. Zack Crockett ran in another touchdown in the final minute of the game. The Billsí defense was on the field for over 20 minutes in the second half. Angelo Crowell led the team with seven solo tackles, a sack, and a forced fumble.
The normally strong pass defense allowed the Raiders 254 net passing yards. Five different receivers had a reception of 18 yards or longer. Nate Clements made a couple of good plays, including one where he knocked the ball away from Randy Moss in the end zone. The pass rush was weak for much of the game and the Bills ended the day with two sacks (Crowell and Schobel). Troy Vincent recovered a bobbled snap from Collins to register the Billsí sole turnover of the day.
|QB Kerry Collins, Pass: 19 - 27 - 261 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 2 - 7 - 0|
Collins began the game badly, fumbling on the Raidersí opening drive after being sacked by Angelo Crowell. Barry Sims recovered for the Raiders but the drive was over. Collins threw a good pass to Doug Gabriel on the next drive, but the receiver dropped what should have been a long gain. Collins did not lose faith, finding Gabriel three plays later for 38 yards, the longest play of the game. Collins found Randy Moss for 15 yards and a first down, two plays after Moss entered the game with a minute remaining in the first quarter. Collins looked for Moss on a fade in the end zone, but the play was broken up by Nate Clements. On the following drive, Collins tried a fade to the other side and found Moss for a 22 yard touchdown on a well thrown ball. Doug Gabriel was the favorite target for Collins in this game, and they connected five times for 101 yards. The only negative was a bobbled snap which Collins lost to Troy Vincent.
|RB Lamont Jordan, Rush: 28 - 122 - 3, Rec: 4 - 40 - 0 (4 targets)|
Jordan had his biggest game since becoming a Raider, and ended with the fourth 100 yard rushing performance of his career. He converted on second and 15 with an 18 yard run. Jordan then ran in three touchdowns against the weak Billsí rush defense, going over from one yard, 17 yards and seven yards. He looked to have taken the ball in from ten yards for his opening touchdown but the ball was ruled down at the one yard line. The Raiders challenged but the call was upheld. Jordan took the very next carry into the end zone. Jordan capped an 80 yard scoring drive to open the second half by going in from 17 yards and making several tacklers miss in the process. He then scored on a seven yard run after breaking out wide to the left and almost walking in. His 28 carries were only the second time he had exceeded 20 carries in a game for the Raiders, and he has gone over 100 yards rushing on both occasions. Jordan caught all four balls thrown his way for a total of 40 yards. He is bidding to become the Raidersí first 1000 yard rusher since Tyrone Wheatley in 2000.
Crockett was targeted once, gaining 23 yards and a first down to keep alive the Raidersí penultimate scoring drive. He was used on the final drive, converting two first downs before scoring on a two yard run with 18 seconds left in the game.
Gabriel was featured more than usual with Randy Moss not starting the game. Gabriel was targeted early on a long play action pass, but he dropped what should have been an easy catch. He made up for it with the Raidersí longest play of the game, catching a 38 yard pass three plays later. Gabriel ended the day with five catches, each of at least 14 yards, and 101 total yards in the game. One was a spectacular one handed grab.
Porter caught four of his seven targets for a total of 43 yards. One was a particularly good catch for 19 yards and a first down. He might have had a spectacular game after being targeted in the end zone on the Raidersí second drive and then appearing to catch a 35 yard touchdown pass on the next drive before it was ruled that he never had possession of the ball. Porter also drew a pass interference call which resulted in a first down on a nine yard penalty.
After being listed as doubtful for most of the week, it was a surprise to see Randy Moss dress for the game. He did not take the field until one minute remaining in the first quarter, but made his first catch, 15 yards for a first down, two plays later. Collins looked for Moss in the right corner of the end zone on a fade, but the play was broken up by Nate Clements. Moss was targeted on a fade to the left corner on the following drive and beat Clements for a 22 yard touchdown reception. Moss made one other catch in the game, gaining six yards for a first down. He seemed unable to make any moves after the catch, probably due to the effects of his groin injury, but was still an effective weapon in the passing game.
Foschi made a very good second effort to turn a reception into a five yard gain for a first down. He had an eight yard reception negated by a penalty and ended with two catches for a total of 11 yards.
Janikowski was perfect on the day, kicking a 25 yard field goal and converting all five of his extra point attempts.
The Raiders restricted the Bills to 84 net rushing yards at an average of 3.7 yards per attempt. Willis McGahee was held to 50 yards on the ground and a long gain of nine yards. The Bills did not try to run the football very often once they fell behind in the game.
After allowing the Bills a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, the Raidersí pass defense tightened up and held the Bills to 126 net passing yards on the day. They did allow Reed a score in the second half, but also applied pressure on Holcomb, sacking him three times (Burgess 2, Sapp) including one for an 18 yard loss. Kirk Morrison was able to recover the ball after Holcomb bobbled a snap. Derrick Gibson (wrist) and Charles Woodson (knee) both left the game in the first half.