Oakland, CA – Three straight wins at home for the Raiders, this is the remedy that needs to be carried into next season. Whatever the motivation for winning at home, Oakland did it for the fans. Despite the season being a complete flop, the Raiders ended it at home with a 26-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Their win knocked the Bills out of the postseason. Just two weeks ago, they did the same with the San Francisco 49ers. It’s a great way to end the season, and to build confidence that every player on that roster has the ability to play their best. They have a chance to finish 4-12 as they’ve done of the past three years under former head coach Dennis Allen.
By far not the a record one would want to be proud of but after losing their first ten games, the Raiders have found a solution to wins at home. Rookie Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals. Buffalo needed to win their last two games and that mission failed thanks to Oakland whose done a good job of being the barrier of bad news for their opponents.
“This team has never gotten down to the point where we were ready to give up,” said S Charles Woodson. “It’s always been an upbeat attitude with the guys on the team, and it shows out there each week.”
The Raiders played their game, Janikowski maintained the lead with a pair of find goals in the third quarter. The Bills got as close as 19-17 after Kyle Orton connected with a 29-yard touchdown pass to Scott Chandler in the fourth but unfortunately for Buffalo they remained behind. Carr not having one his best days completed just 17 of 34 passes for 214 yards.
“The best quarterbacks, really to ever play this game, what that defense has done to them,” Carr said. “That’s a rally tough defense to play against and coach Olson did a great job of trusting us. I’m glad we got it going in the second half.”
“The line did a phenomenal job back there,” said RB Darren McFadden. “They were on their blocks all day. Some ugly runs in there but for the most part I feel like they did a tremendous job.”
Woodson secured Oakland’s win when he recovered an onside kick after Buffalo pulled within two points in closing minutes of the game. Overall the Raiders played a competitive game on both offense and defense. Carr’s touchdown passes to James Jones for 3-yards and a 1-yard to Jamize Olawale were enough to satisfy the dedicated fans who wanted nothing more than to see a win at O.co for the last home game.
“We wanted to give our fans something special and wanted them to be begging for more at the end of this,” Oakland interim head coach Tony Sparano said.
“This is an electric environment,” said DT Anthony Smith said. “I think it radiates. It flows through us all. I hate to say it because we have to be better in road games, but we’re a totally different team when we’re in this stadium.”