Raiders spin more magic in comeback win over Bills


The surging Raiders (10-2) on Sunday kept pace with New England for the AFC's No. 1 seed with a 38-24 win at home against the Bills (6-6). Here's what we learned from Oakland's comeback victory over Buffalo:

1. The Raiders are pure magic. Playing heavily out of the shotgun to offset Buffalo's pass rush, Derek Carr fought through an ugly start to lead Oakland to 29 unanswered points and another rollicking victory. The Bills did an admirable job in the red zone in the first half, but that melted away quick as Carr and the boys caught fire after the break. The Raiders quarterback earned his 10th fourth-quarter comeback over the past two seasons by hitting one key throw after the next to finish with 260 yards passing at 7.4 per attempt. It was impressive to see Oakland will itself back into the game and completely throttle the Bills over the final 20-plus minutes. If you're scanning the AFC for a bona fide challenger to the mighty Patriots, look no further than the Silver and Black.

2. Before the Raiders roared to life, Rex Ryan spent much of Sunday flipping the bird to his fleet of doubters. Laughed about in September as a candidate to lose his job, the Bills coach unleashed his top-ranked ground game against a Raiders defense allowing an NFL-worst 6.2 yards per play. Buffalo peaked just after the break when LeSean McCoy ripped off a 54-yard burst to set up a Tyrod Taylor scoring scramble that put Buffalo up 17-9. With 212 yards on the day at a strong 7.1 yards per pop, Buffalo used the combination of McCoy (17/130) and Mike Gillislee (8/49/2) to initially confound the Raiders, who couldn't counter Shady's patience and zigzagging magic or Gillislee's straight-ahead hammer drops. Oakland tightened up down the stretch, though, to force three straight punts before Defensive Player of the Year candidate Khalil Mack nipped Taylor's arm on a fourth-quarter lob that landed in the arms of safety Nate Allen. The Raiders scored four plays later to put this tilt on ice.

3. Michael Crabtree has been a revelation for the Raiders, but the wideout hurt the team in the second quarter by dropping a would-be touchdown pass two plays before he was flagged for taunting, a gaffe that forced Oakland to settle for a field goal. Still, Crabtree (7/74/1) made up for it with a pretty third-quarter grab in the back of the end zone to galvanize Buffalo's demise.

4. Oakland's ground game is led by Latavius Murray (20/82/2), but sign us up for more action from Jalen Richard, the undrafted rookie who gave the Raiders life with a handful of key bursts down the stretch. Murray spun his own gold, scoring twice to become the first Raiders back with 10-plus rushing touchdowns in a season since Marcus Allen in 1990.

5. Mack was a dominant force, hitting Taylor's arm on that fatal pick and ending the game for the second straight week with a strip sack on the following drive. He's not alone in the race for DPOY, but Mack all but sealed another All-Pro campaign with a high-octane showing in a big spot.

6. With the win, the Raiders stay notched atop the AFC West and tied with New England for the AFC's No. 1 seed. Oakland's final four games come against four playoff hopefuls: the Chiefs, Chargers, Colts and Broncos. The loss, meanwhile, all but destroys Buffalo's wild-card hopes barring a miracle down the stretch against the Steelers, Browns, Dolphins and Jets.