As we look back at yesterday’s big win over the Raiders, the one word that keeps coming to mind is “takeaways!” This week’s key to winning a huge AFC conference game and keeping pace with that team from New England was the four Bills takeaways. 2 interceptions and 2 fumble recoveries, one returned for a TD. And the Bills now lead the NFL in turnover margin with +14.
Takeaway #1 – Game Changer
With the game tied at 7 late in the 1st half, the Raiders got the ball back with time to run their 2 minute offense. That’s when David Carr hits Washington over the middle where he’s hit by Leonard Johnson and fumbles the ball right into Matt Milano’s hands who scoops it up and scores the 6.
Takeaway #2 – Momentum Swing
The Bills get the second half kickoff and promptly go three and out. After another good punt from Colten Schmidt, the returner Richard is stripped by Matt Milano and the ball is jumped on by Mike Tolbert. This takeaway led to field goal and a 17-7 lead. It also led to a feeling that it was going to be a Buffalo kind of day.
Takeaway #3 – Halt the Comeback
On the very next drive, first down, Preston Brown tips a ball that he thought he should have intercepted. His disappointment foreshadowed what was to happen two plays later. Again Preston Brown tips the ball and this time Micah Hyde comes away with his 5th interception of the season. After another field goal the Bills led 20-7 and the game wouldn’t get closer than 13 point the rest of the way.
Takeaway #4 – Seal the Game
With under two minutes left play in the game and Raiders driving deep into Bills territory, David Carr was intercepted for a second time. Trae Elston snatched the ball close to the goal line and returned it out the 25 where three plays later the Bills would run out the clock on their fifth win of the season.
Other contributions of note: The running game is back. LeSean McCoy looked like the best all-purpose back in the NFL again. The rain seemed to have an impact on the Raiders and less on the Bills. The Punter, Colten Schmidt punted like he was Ray Guy. His kick out of bounds at the one-yard line was one of best all season. Tyrod Taylor gets his first rushing TD. The refs, who made some questionable calls in both directions. Andre Holmes with a TD catch against his old team.
Short week. Big Thursday game versus AFC East rival Jets . A win is one step closer to ending the drought. Let’s Go Buffalo!