With a matchup against one of the NFL’s premier passing offenses looming this Sunday, the Bills secondary will certainly have their hands full against Derek Carr and Oakland’s strong collection of skill-position players. One player in particular has caught the attention of Buffalo cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, Gilmore shared his thoughts on how he plans to cover Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree, and how he might need the help of the officials when it comes to Crabtree’s tendency to push off.
While it remains to be seen whether or not Gilmore is helped by the officials, the Bills would certainly stand to benefit from a strong performance from their top cornerback. The Raiders currently rank fourth in the NFL in passing yards per game (278.6) and fifth in points per game (27.9), and Carr has played the best football of his three-year career and legitimately belongs in the MVP discussion.
On paper, the Bills should have an opportunity to limit Oakland’s passing attack. Buffalo ranks second in the league in sacks (33) and are eighth in passing yards allowed per game (227.7). However, inconsistency has certainly been an issue for Buffalo’s secondary in 2016.
Ultimately, if the Bills are to stand a chance at upsetting the 9-2 Raiders on Sunday, they will need a solid effort from their pass defense. With Ronald Darby’s status uncertain as he remains in concussion protocol, Gilmore, regardless of the caliber of officiating, will need to be at his best in order to slow down Crabtree and Amari Cooper.