OAKLAND -- Absurd. Ridiculous. Unacceptable.
Those and many other unkind words apply to the 26-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders that knocked the Buffalo Bills out of the playoff race.
Granted, the Bills would have needed help even with a victory. And they would have needed to beat the mighty New England Patriots next week at Foxborough, where they never win.
Still, there simply was no excuse for the Bills, who had been 8-6, to lose to a team that entered the game with a 2-12 record and was playing terribly for much of the season.
And it took every bit of a terrible performance for the Bills to lay the colossal egg that they laid.
Their offense was an embarrassment. The Raiders have one of the worst run defenses in the NFL, and yet the Bills could manage only 13 net yards on the ground, their fourth-worst rushing day in franchise history. C.J. Spiller, playing for the first time since suffering a broken collarbone in October, finished with minus-4 yards on four carries.
Kyle Orton was way off the mark on most of his throws, and gave substantial proof that he is not the quarterbacking answer the Bills need after this season. Raiders rookie quarterback Derek Carr was much, much sharper, delivering big plays when his team needed them.
The Bills' defense had its issues as well, though, and most of them stemmed from the loss of its best player, tackler Marcell Dareus, to a knee injury that caused him to exit the game in the second quarter.
The flat showing does not reflect well on coach Doug Marrone, who seemingly had earned himself a third season after last week's upset win against the Green Bay Packers. He and the rest of the coaching staff needed to do exceptional work to prevent the Bills from feeling any sense of overconfidence, and at first blush, it appears as if they failed.
An interesting couple of weeks are ahead as the Bills' future is sorted out at quarterback and likely in other areas. Stay tuned!