The Buffalo Bills welcome the Las Vegas Raiders to Orchard Park, NY for their home-opener in Week 2. The Bills dropped a key divisional road game to the New York Jets on Monday Night Football to open their season, while the Raiders stole a divisional win against the Denver Broncos in Week 1. As of this writing, the DraftKings Sportsbook odds have the Bills as 8.5-point favorites.
- Spread: Bills -8.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: 46.5 (-115) / 46.5 (-105)
- Moneyline: Bills -410, Raiders (+320)
In case you haven’t heard (or read, everywhere), a very large percentage of Bills Mafia believes the sky is falling in on their football dreams. While tepid compared to last season’s national expectations, many people believe that 2023 is the Bills’ year. As such, the sting is relentless, having lost to the Jets after Aaron Rodgers played but four snaps.
Make no mistake, the team’s performance against the New York Jets, under a very public microscope was less than ideal. Now, people have begun to worry about quarterback Josh Allen.
Thankfully, the Bills have a short week between Weeks 1 and 2. Will a home game against the Raiders allow Buffalo to get right? In Week 1, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey made a concerted effort to running 12 personnel on 63% of plays, and operating with two tight ends 71% of the time. Both led the league last week — a huge departure from 2022, when they finished last (3%) and 30th (9.7%) in both metrics, respectively. Rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid performed well in his first regular-season game, though only found four opportunities — catching them all for 26 yards.
Bills rookie offensive lineman O’Cyrus Torrence also made his first start. Torrence performed admirably, showing that both the moment and the Jets’ defensive line weren’t too big a task for him on national television.
Cornerback Christian Benford turned heads with his play. After winning the starting CB2 job out of camp, Benford showed everyone what makes him such a special talent in sprinting downfield to prevent running back Breece Hall from scoring a breakaway touchdown. Head coach Sean McDermott waxed poetic on Benford’s qualities, and it’s now apparent to all why he won the starting job. As for second-year cornerback Kaiir Elam, he found himself inactive against the Jets, and with much work to do before finding a role on game day.
Josh Allen didn’t play well for much of the game, though he did lead the team from behind to end regulation, and he managed to heavily involve wide receiver Stefon Diggs. In speaking with the press this week, Diggs wasn’t satisfied with his performance simply because the team lost. Winning is the most important thing to Diggs, despite all the narratives that surrounded him this past offseason.
Linebacker Terrel Bernard started at MIKE, and managed to lead the team in tackles. While he struggled at times, there was enough good in his play to leave fans hopeful for this week’s game against the Raiders.
But will the defense repair what went wrong against Jets’ running attack? Running back Breece Hall is a phenomenal talent, but his return from last season’s ACL injury certainly opened some eyes. It won’t get any easier this week, with running back Josh Jacobs coming to town. Jacobs didn’t have an impressive 2023 debut, but it’s likely the Raiders’ offensive line and he are looking forward to their shot at Buffalo’s run defense.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo may find difficult sledding in Highmark Stadium, that is if his top two receiving targets are unable to suit up. Things appeared to be trending up for Devante Adams (foot), while downward for Jakobi Meyers (concussion) as of Thursday’s injury report. While Garoppolo appeared on the report himself (ankle), he was full-go for the team’s practice Thursday.
All our coverage for the Buffalo Bills’ Week 2 matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders is linked below. Be sure to check it out and stay connected with us at Buffalo Rumblings!