The Las Vegas Raiders entered their Week 2 contest at the Buffalo Bills coming off a 17-16 divisional win against the Denver Broncos. They left Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, NY after taking a 38-10 beatdown from a rejuvenated Bills squad that looked ready to put their opening-week loss to the New York Jets behind them.
Buffalo was able to control the flow of the game from the midway point of the first quarter all the way to the final gun. While the Raiders opened the scoring, Buffalo answered quickly and just kept coming. Buffalo knew which players they had to contain and, for the most part, that’s exactly what they were able to do.
Here’s how our five Raiders to watch fared this week.
RB Josh Jacobs
In my wildest dreams of how this game would go, never did I imagine that the Bills would be able to bottle Jacobs up to the tune of -2 yards on nine carries. That’s just an absurdly good job against one of the NFL’s elite running backs, as the Bills took advantage of a Las Vegas offensive line that’s really struggling to block in the running game. Jacobs was effective as a receiver, as he managed to take some check downs and turn them into big yardage, but it wasn’t nearly enough for Las Vegas to overcome the Buffalo onslaught. He was targeted six times, making five catches for 51 yards. I have to go back to it, though, because it’s true: every one of you reading this article had more rushing yards on Sunday than Josh Jacobs did. That’s a testament to an elite performance from Buffalo’s defensive line.
WR Davante Adams
The star wideout had a huge first half on Sunday, as he opened the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown catch, his second long reception of the first drive. He had five catches on six targets for 79 yards and that touchdown in the first half. Adams was set up to have a huge day. And then, well... quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo just stopped throwing him the ball. In the second half, Adam was targeted just twice. He caught one of those passes for five yards. On his final snap, he was absolutely leveled by Buffalo safety Taylor Rapp, a hit which drew a justified 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty. Adams was removed the the game and evaluated for a concussion. As of this writing, he is not in concussion protocol, so he should be good to go next week.
OTs Thayer Munford Jr. and Jermaine Eluemunor
After Munford Jr. started and split reps with Eluemunor in Week 1, it was the J.E. show this week. Eluemunor started the game and played all 40 of Las Vegas’ snaps, while Munford Jr. appeared as a sixth lineman on just eight snaps overall. That was a little surprising, considering Munford Jr.’s solid performance the week before. The Raiders’ offensive line looked much the same as it did in the win over Denver: they were great in pass protection, as Buffalo managed no sacks and just two pressure on Garoppolo, but they were abysmal in run blocking yet again.
DE Maxx Crosby
To the surprise of many, the Bills and right tackle Spencer Brown were able to neutralize Crosby almost all day. He managed just two hurries on 71 defensive snaps. Sure, he totaled seven tackles, but that’s to be expected with a player of his caliber who has that great a motor. Buffalo definitely gave Brown some help, using tight ends and running backs to chip as well as shading right guard O’Cyrus Torrence over when they could. Crosby’s lone play where he was able to hit quarterback Josh Allen came in the fourth quarter, as he tipped a ball that was intercepted by Reggie Teamer. However, Nate Hobbs was called for hands to the face, which negated the pick, and Buffalo ended up driving down the field and scoring their final touchdown.
CB Marcus Peters
The veteran looked a tick slow this weekend, and while the Bills didn’t press the issue and go downfield much, that was as much dictated by the coverage scheme as it was the people in coverage. Peters had three tackles and zero pass breakups in the game. Buffalo was able to find Stefon Diggs (seven targets, seven receptions, 66 yards) and Gabe Davis (seven targets, six catches, 92 yards, one touchdown) whenever they needed plays this week. Peters was essentially a nonfactor in the outcome of the game.