Khalil Mack vs. the world
The University at Buffalo’s greatest player was a one-man demolition squad. Officially, Mack was credited with five tackles and one sack. The fifth overall pick in the draft moved around but was most effective in dominating right tackle Seantrel Henderson. In the first half, Mack stuffed Fred Jackson for no gain and penetrated to create a 3-yard loss for C.J. Spiller. He closed down the middle to stop Jackson for a 2-yard run. He whipped Henderson on successive third-down passes and hit Kyle Orton both times to force two punts. In the third quarter, he whipped Henderson again for a 10-yard sack to kill a drive with Oakland clinging to a 13-10 lead. One sack, three other hits on Orton and two other hurries. Unofficially, he was at right DE 25 plays, left DE 21, left outside LB seven, right outside LB four and stand-up DT one.
Raider DTs vs. Bills OGs
This was a low point for the Bills’ interior offensive line. The Raiders entered the game ranked 25th against the run, allowing 125 yards a game. They have lost two starting linebackers and edge rusher LaMarr Woodley to injury, along with their strong safety. They had allowed 93 yards or more the previous seven games. Yet the Bills were so skeptical of their running game, they had Orton drop back 51 times and hand off only 13 times. The Bills gained 13 rushing yards. Veteran Antonio Smith, rookie Justin Smith and someone named Ricky Lumpkin combined to form a stout interior at defensive tackle. Smith whipped Kraig Urbik to stuff C.J. Spiller for one 4-yard loss. Smith also beat Urbik on a third-down incompletion. Erik Pears didn’t distinguish himself. He and Henderson allowed Justin Tuck to split a double-team for an 11-yard sack.
Raider LBs vs. C.J. Spiller
This was Spiller’s first game back after missing eight games with a shoulder injury, so maybe it was unrealistic to expect him to make a big impact. How about just a small impact? That’s not unreasonable. Spiller touched the ball eight times and produced 10 yards. He had four runs for minus-4 yards and four catches for 10 yards. This was against an injury-riddled Raiders linebacking corps. Once upon a time, in Chan Gailey’s offense, Spiller produced a 1,703-yard season and averaged 6.8 yards a touch. That was in 2012, and Spiller made the Pro Bowl that season. It seems like a long time ago. The Bills could not exploit any matchups with Spiller on the field. His long gainer was a mere 5 yards. Fred Jackson caught nine passes for 93 yards. But the Bills needed a big play, the kind Spiller used to produce.