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Jay Skurski's Hot Read: Bills' collapse an epic punch to the stomach

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Buffalo Bills just can’t have nice things.

After teasing us all by opening a 15-point lead in the third quarter Sunday against the Raiders, the Bills put together a collapse that, even when we should be accustomed to such things, was an epic punch to the stomach to the team’s fans.

After Mike Gillislee’s 2-yard touchdown with 9:01 left in the third quarter, the Bills held a 24-9 lead and looked to be on their way to one of the biggest road wins in franchise history.

But my, oh my, how things changed. Led by emerging star quarterback Derek Carr, the Raiders started to mount a comeback on their way to a 38-24 victory. First there was a 3-yard touchdown catch by Michael Crabtree. Then there was a 2-yard scoring run by Latavius Murray. A 37-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper followed, and just like that, the Bills’ lead was gone.

With Rex Ryan’s defense reeling, quarterback Tyrod Taylor couldn’t get anything out of the offense. After each of those three Oakland touchdowns, the Bills went three and out. Both sides of the ball can take blame for this collapse.

Perhaps fittingly, Khalil Mack helped to drive the nail into the coffin of the Bills’ 2016 season when he tipped a Taylor pass in the fourth quarter, leading to an interception by safety Nate Allen.

That set up another 3-yard scoring run by Murray. And with that any reasonable hope of ending a 16-year playoff drought drowned in the Pacific Ocean. Sure, there might be some MIT-level mathematical odds of the Bills getting in, but don’t waste your time with that. This group is exactly what its record indicates – a mediocre, average, .500 team that continues to spin its wheels.

For 17 years now, and running. I’d say it’s hard to believe, but after watching every one of those years, it’s the most believable thing you could ever say.

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