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8 Laces: What people will be talking about after the Bills' loss to the Raiders

The Bills lost to the Raiders on Sunday, 38-24. If you haven't heard about the game yet, you might want to keep it that way. But alas, here you are.

Here's what your friends and coworkers will be talking about this week.

Feeling miserable

This was another classic Bills meltdown in a huge spot.

"Long-suffering Bills watchers know better by now" than to hope, Jerry Sullivan wrote in yet another iteration of the 'Depressing December Loss' column you've gotten to know all too well over the last 17 years.

"They have a library of regrettable history as a guide. This is what the Bills do. They raise people's hopes, nudge their fans into a state of belief, and then, as always, they come crashing to Earth when it truly matters."

Wishing they had been born somewhere else

For the most part, Bills fans were born into the club. This Twitter exchange after the game felt it summed things up:

The meltdown

All right ..... let's talk about the game.

The Bills looked like they were in control when Mike Gillislee scored his second touchdown to make it 24-9. Fifteen-point leads are pretty big. And given that it came midway through the third quarter, this one almost felt safe.

But these are the Bills.

The Raiders scored 29 unanswered points over the final 21 minutes to win the game. The Bills could do nothing right, going three-and-out three drives in a row after building the lead. Latavius Murray scored twice, Amari Cooper finally beat rookie Kevon Seymour and Michael Crabtree made up for his touchdown drop in the first half to swing the game in the Raiders' favor.

It was only the third time since 2000 that the Bills lost a game in which they led by 15 or more. Neither of those happened as late in the game in as this one.

The playoffs

Take it away, Jim.

The Bills aren't technically eliminated yet, but at 6-6 they'll need to win out and get a lot of help to qualify.

Where did the offense go? 

The Bills came out passing Sunday, which was unusual for ground-and-pound team, but it worked. Tyrod Taylor was 6 of 7 for 75 yards on the first drive.

LeSean McCoy had another great day on the ground, gaining 130 yards on 17 carries, but the passing game went downhill after that first drive. Consider Taylor's stats by half:

First half: 9-13, 110 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 0 fumbles.
Second half: 9-22, 81 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 1 fumble lost.

"Tyrod Taylor offered up a whole bunch of 'we,' but not any 'me' when assessing what went wrong with the Buffalo Bills’ offense Sunday," Jay Skurski wrote.

And where did the defense go?

Vic Carucci tried to answer that one, but defensive players didn't seem to have any more answers than Taylor did after the game.

"Sometimes you feel that momentum shift and it just snowballed on us," coach Rex Ryan said. "Sometimes, I think we lose confidence. You can't ever have that happen to you."

Except, it did. Which is why Carucci had to at least broach the subject: Was this game Ryan's lowest point as the Bills coach – or as a "defensive mastermind"?

Khalil Mack

The Raiders' all-world edge rusher took over the game in the fourth quarter, causing both of the Bills' turnovers that put the game away.

"I’m glad he’s not playing for New England, I guess,” Ryan said.

Not to knock Sammy Watkins, but it was hard not to revisit the 2014 draft Sunday afternoon.

The cleats

Hey, at least players got to wear cool cleats Sunday during the NFL's "My Cause, My Cleats" campaign. Tim Graham wrote a great story about how part of the custom-cleats movement has centered around a Buffalo artist. Bills players represented charities and movements from Haitian relief to the ALS Foundation to Black Lives Matter to remembering former NFL player Joe McKinght, who was killed last week. You can view our photos from the game here.

Final word: Live shot of Bills fans looking at the standings this week:

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