The Oakland Raiders travel out east to Buffalo, as they look to keep their mojo going after getting a big win over the Chiefs. It feels like it was ages ago, but it was just last Thursday that the Raiders and Chiefs played in a wild one. The Raiders had a few chances and made the most it with no time left on the clock. It was a huge win for the Raiders. Instead of going to 2-5, they reach 3-4 and in the midst of the race for the AFC West. A loss would have put them in the basement of the division at 2-5. As it is now, there are three teams with 3 wins, the Broncos, Chargers, and Raiders.
The Chargers started slowly at 0-4 and have now pulled off 3 wins in a row to get back in the picture. Likewise, the Raiders and Broncos have been in a funk for a large portion of the season. Luckily enough for them, absolutely nothing has been decided yet, though. The Chiefs started hot, but now they’ve lost a couple of games in a row. The moral of the story here is that this is a big game for the Raiders. They must go into Buffalo with that kind of mentality.
The Broncos went into Buffalo thinking it was going to be a day in the park. But then again, the Broncos have seemingly been sleepwalking through this season, no matter where they’ve played. It should be a warning shot for the Raiders, though. They can’t come in with a lackadaisical effort or the same thing is going to happen to them. The Bills are currently 4-2 and hanging in there with the Patriots. Is there going to be any doubt who is going to ultimately gallop away with the division, though?
Barring Tom Brady and Gronk both getting injured and out for an extended period of time, the Patriots will cruise to a win in the AFC East. That’s about the boldest prediction you’ll hear this week – sarcasm. In my opinion, no one has really stuck out in the AFC. The Patriots are going to be the Patriots, and the Chiefs had a nice start, but can we expect that to continue all the way to December and January? In other words, even though the Raiders are 3-4 they can’t be discounted. Derek Carr looked good against a good defense last week. We’ll see if it carries over to Week 9. Head below for our free Raiders vs. Bills pick.
Oakland Raiders vs. Buffalo Bills Betting Odds:
vs. Bills -2.5(-105)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Raiders vs. Bills Pick:
Derek Carr had his biggest showing of the year against the Chiefs. I pity the people who had Carr on their fantasy bench. He passed for 417 yards and 3 touchdowns, capping it off with a 2-yard pass to Michael Crabtree on a play only possible by a K.C. penalty. The defense boggled up Kareem Hunt which was the key to victory. Alex Smith passed for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns, but Hunt was held for 87 yards. The Raiders are allowing 22.3 points per game this season. They have improved some on defense, but still have some improvements to make.
Tyrod Taylor can be a slippery guy to contain. You think you have him and he makes a play out of nothing. He’s one of the few running quarterbacks left who can do damage with his legs. Kaepernick and RGIII dominated that space a few years ago, but they’re out of the league, and Tyrod is one of the only left. Now, he doesn’t put up the kind of numbers those guys did, and it isn’t run by design as much as the 49ers and Redskins played. However, what Taylor lacks in flash, he makes up for in his ability to play mistake free football. He has passed for 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 174 yards rushing for a 4.6 average per carry.
With that said, they are not a high-octane offense. They’re averaging 298.7 yards per game for 25th in the NFL. The Raiders are just 22nd on offense, but I can see that Chiefs game lighting something underneath of Oakland. A healthy Carr is much different than EJ Manuel under center. Carr has passed for 11 touchdowns and 4 interceptions with a 64.9% completion percentage.
The Buffalo secondary is good, but they are coming into Sunday banged up. E.J. Gaines is out and safety Jordan Poyer is a game-time decision. The Bills allowed more than 700 yards passing in total against the Bengals and Buccaneers. Note that the Bills have been outgained in five of their six games this year. Jack Del Rio must have used the Broncos losing in Buffalo as an example. If he didn’t drill it into their heads, I’d be shocked. This should be a good one. It’s an important game for both teams. In the end, I can see the Raiders edging out the Bills on Sunday.
PICK: RAIDERS +2.5 (-115)