ALAMEDA – The Buffalo Bills were in firm control of the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. That was the case well into the third quarter.
Then this game turned upside down.
The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points in just over 15 minutes. They erased a two-score Buffalo lead in the second half by doing everything they couldn’t do at the start.
The 34-28 victory was the Raiders’ sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season, but this one was special. They went from 0 to 60 in a snap.
The Raiders were down 24-9 before that big surge, but the mood was hardly somber.
“We don’t dwell too much on the score,” receiver Michael Crabtree said. “We don’t say, ‘we’re down 15, and we need this.’ We don’t panic. We don’t sweat. We just go out and play ball.”
The Raiders played some of their season’s best ball during that stretch.
They consistently halted drives on defense, including three straight three-and-outs to start the surge. They created turnovers in key moments. Special teams tightened up. And, of course, the offense got rolling after playing with pace.
“It felt like everything was smooth and working out,” left guard Kelechi Osemele said. “The confidence keeps building on this team.”
During that blitzkrieg, the Raiders out-gained Buffalo 212-8. It was all out dominance, the Raiders have been looking to play for four full quarters. That’s been largely elusive, but they’ve learned to clamp down and execute when it matters most.
Several Raiders were asked what was more impressive: The 29, or the 0.
Picking wasn’t a common response. Most focused on why this team is able to rally, and why they did so against Buffalo.
“We just continue to fight, continue to believe,” edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. “29 unanswered is hard to do in this league. Buffalo has an explosive offense. Hat’s off to us and to Derek Carr for continuing to believe in us, continuing to battle and put points on the board.”