The Bills’ “Formula for Victory” was thoroughly inadequate against one of the better offensive teams in the NFL Sunday.
The Bills rushed for 212 yards on the Oakland Raiders. How much more can you expect to gain on an NFL defense? The Bills’ pass offense is barely NFL caliber. They finished with 191 passing yards and had a mere 132 by the time Oakland took its 38-24 lead.
Tyrod Taylor has the second worst cast of receiving weapons in the NFL. (We rate San Francisco as worse.) Charles Clay and Robert Woods were out. Woods is barely a No. 2 receiver in the NFL, anyway. And Sammy Watkins looked like a shell of himself. He was off-page with Taylor a couple times, and the Bills didn’t bother to throw deep to him once against a Raiders defense that was protecting deep.
Why wouldn’t Oakland protect deep? The Bills can’t beat you with intermediate passing.
This isn’t to take Taylor off the hook. He didn’t pull the trigger when he might have hit Brandon Tate near the goal line on the first drive. He missed an open Watkins down the right sideline early in the third quarter. He missed Watkins down the sideline in the fourth quarter.
On defense, the Bills did well for three quarters but did not have the cornerbacks to contain a pass offense as good as Oakland’s.
Rex Ryan would love to be able to play a lot of man coverage and attack the quarterback. He coached like a guy lacking confidence in his coverage. The Bills had a ton of three-man pass rushes, dropping eight in coverage.
At the start of the year, Bills fans figured they had two shutdown cornerbacks in Stephon Gilmore and Ronald Darby. It hasn’t turned out that way. And Darby was out Sunday. So Ryan & Co. didn’t want to leave the corners on islands too much. Derek Carr picked them apart.
The Raiders are a legitimate threat to the Patriots at the top of the AFC. The Bills showed they’re not playoff worthy.