Raiders

Instant Replay: Raiders erase deficit against Bills for another comeback win

Instant Replay: Raiders erase deficit against Bills for another comeback win

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND – These Raiders were down early on. They are never, ever out.

The Silver and Black slogged through two-plus quarters, fell down two scores and then, almost out of nowhere, got hit with a defibrillator and came back to life.

Paddles were charged to a high voltage. They woke up and immediately played some of their best football this season.

If possible after being down double digits in the second half, the Raiders cruised to victory. That’s how dominant they were down the stretch of a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Raiders improve to 10-2, and remain a game ahead of Kansas City, which won earlier in the day to set up a Thursday Night Football showdown at Arrowhead Stadium.

That game means so much because the Raiders took care of business at home.

The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points and the defense forced two turnovers – Khalil Mack was involved in both, naturally – and three three-and-outs while the offense surged ahead.

It was an awesome showcase of power, something good teams do while in a bind.

The Bills ran roughshod early on, but were shut down by effective gang tackling of LeSean McCoy. That left Buffalo in passing situations, where Mack feasted.

He tipped a ball near the line of scrimmage that Nate Allen intercepted easily. Then he virtually secured victory with a strip-sack where he recovered his own forced fumble.

Derek Carr orchestrated a series of impressive touchdown drives, and finished with 260 passing yards and two touchdowns. Latavius Murray finished with 105 yards of total offense and had two touchdowns.

The contrast between early game and late is staggering.

The Raiders were down 24-9 midway through the third quarter but erased that deficit with three straight three-and-outs on defense and 29 unanswered points.

Amari Cooper put the Raiders on top for the first time early in the fourth quarter, using a slant-and-go pattern to get open and secure a 37-yard touchdown pass from Carr.

Second-half heroics offered stark contrast to the first half’s proceedings, where the Raiders couldn’t find the end zone.

They settled for three Sebastian Janikowski field goals, and just a 10-9 halftime deficit despite Buffalo’s hot start.

The Bills charged out of the gate, with 10 points on their first two drives, using short passes and a dynamic, complex run game to consistently move downfield.

The ground game worked particularly well to start the second half. They used two rushing plays to go 66 yards for a touchdown. A 54-yard jaunt by McCoy set it up and Taylor completed the score with a 12-yard planned run.

The Raiders were only down eight points at that point, but things got worse. The Bills ran right down the field again on a 10-play, 54-yard drive completed by Mike Gillislee’s 2-yard touchdown run.

That put the Raiders down 24-9 and into hurry-up mode trying to cut the deficit. They formally did so with a 3-yard touchdown catch from Michael Crabtree, on a drive where the Raiders offense actually looked like itself.

Then the defense got a three-and-out. The Raiders drove right downfield and scored again. It was Latavius Murray this time with his 10th touchdown of the year.

The Raiders kept stopping and scoring to flip a script that seemed to have a tragic ending early on.

Dealing with Bills rushing attack: The Bills sport the NFL’s best rushing attack, which was on track during Sunday’s game. LeSean McCoy was hard to stop, showing great speed on a 54-yard run in the second half.

He ended up with 130 yards on 17 carries, good for a 7.6-yard average. Quarterback Tyrod Taylor is the team’s second leading rusher, and was effective scrambling and on planned runs.

All told, the Bills ran for 212 yards and three touchdowns in this one.

Moment of silence: The Raiders held a moment of silence before Sunday’s game for victims of a major fire in the Fruitvale area of Oakland on Friday night.

The Raiders have also pledged to match donations for victims and their families, up to $30,000, as part of an effort fronted by the A's.

Amerson returns: Raiders cornerback David Amerson returned to action after missing a game with a knee injury. The Raiders defense also got Perry Riley Jr. back from a hamstring strain, though Stacy McGee and Darius Latham were down with ankle injuries.

Rookie running back DeAndre Washington was a healthy scratch for a second straight week. Antonio Hamilton was a surprise scratch. He was expected to be the team’s fourth cornerback.

What’s next: The Raiders have a short week heading into one of the season’s biggest games. They’ll face the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on Thursday night in a battle for AFC West supremacy, but must travel two time zones to do it in a scheduling quirk the Raiders don’t like.

The Chiefs kept pace with a dramatic victory over Atlanta where Eric Berry returned a game-deciding two-point conversion attempt to win it late.

Raiders-Dolphins injury report: Clinton McDonald may get heavy workload

Raiders-Dolphins injury report: Clinton McDonald may get heavy workload

ALAMEDA – Clinton McDonald is not on the Raiders injury report. Defensive tackle P.J. Hall is, and isn’t expected to play Sunday in Miami.

That suggests the veteran defensive tackle, signed just a week ago to fortify an ailing position group, could see steady snaps in South Florida.

He played 52 against Denver, just days after being signed off the street. He fared well considering the circumstances. He had two tackles, two quarterback pressures and graded out well against the run.

“Clinton has played in our system, so he’s familiar with what we do in our system,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “He was with me in Cincinnati, so it was a little bit easier of a transition for him going in there. He did a tremendous job on short notice, playing that many snaps.”

He could see another heavy workload on Sunday, and the Raiders need him to play well inside to function well on the defensive line. Johnathan Hankins was signed last week for a similar task, and his workload could increase after improving his football shape considering he was a free agent all preseason.

Hall missed his fifth straight practice on Thursday. Rookie offensive tackle Brandon Parker returned to full work after missing Wedensday’s practice with an ankle issue.

Nick Nelson was added to the injury report with a hamstring injury. He was limited.

Thursday’s Practice Report

RAIDERS
Did not practice

DT P.J. Hall (ankle)

Limited practice
C Rodney Hudson (ankle)
RG Gabe Jackson (pectoral)
RB Marshawn Lynch (shoulder)
CB Nick Nelson (hamstring)

Full participation
OT Brandon Parker (ankle)
CB Leon Hall (illness)
WR Dwayne Harris (foot)

DOLPHINS
Did not practice

RB Frank Gore (not injury related)

Limited practice
S Reshad Jones (shoulder)
LS John Denney (shoulder)
Bobby McCain (knee)

Full participation
DT Jordan Phillips (knee)
RB Kenyan Drake (abdomen)
DE William Hayes (finger)
WR DeVante Parker (finger)
QB Ryan Tannehill (knee/ankle)
WR Danny Amendola (not injury related)

Peter King: I wouldn't have traded Khalil Mack for four first-round picks

Peter King: I wouldn't have traded Khalil Mack for four first-round picks

We probably won't stop talking about the Khalil Mack trade for a while.

With every passing week, every passing game where the Raiders struggle to get to the quarterback and every passing game where Mack dominates for the Bears, it will keep coming up. Raiders head coach Jon Gruden will keep fielding questions. The media and fans will continue to be puzzled by every aspect of the trade.

More than two weeks after writing a column in which he said the Raiders made a huge mistake trading Mack, NBC Sports' Peter King had more harse words for Gruden.

"He's like Donald Trump with the wall or Donald Trump with the Russia investigation. He can't leave it alone and he's not convincing anybody," King said Thursday on The Dan Patrick Show. "Who possibly can be convinced that Khalil Mack didn't want to be on the Raiders? That was his first one. And now how hard it is to find a pass rusher. It's almost insult to the people who listen, really. I hear him say these things, and I like Jon, but everything is a justification for trading away a franchise pass rusher in his prime, a guy over the last two years in the NFL has impacted the passing game, via Pro Football Focus, more than any rusher in the NFL. You trade him in his prime, for two 1's. I wouldn't have traded him for four 1's."

Ouch.

King wasn't done.

"We've seen him play well enough. I'm not trying to be argumentative," King said. "I'm just saying that even if he had been pedestrian the first two weeks, I still would have said it's a dumb trade. I'll say it's a dumb trade for the next three years. I just think it's a dumb trade. I never understood it. I still can't to this day."

Safe to say King and Gruden won't be having dinner together anytime soon.