Jordan Mills vs. Khalil Mack
The Bills dared to leave their unheralded right tackle one on one vs. the Raiders' sackmaster on a bunch of pass plays. It was not double-team blocking against Mack all the time. Mack had just two tackles. Neither he nor sack-make Bruce Irvin took down Tyrod Taylor.
Mack rushed mostly from the right. But Cordy Glenn did a good job against Mack a handful of times at left tackle, too. Glenn did hold Mack on a second-down play from the Oakland 8. The referee flagged Richie Incognito for the foul, but we think he was watching Glenn's block.
"Me and Jordan did a good job with Khalil and Bruce," Glenn said. "Bruce is no slouch. He's a great pass rusher, too. We did our job. We knew early in the week that was going to be key for us to win, to protect Tyrod."
Tre'Davious White vs. Amari Cooper
The Bills had White follow the Raiders' game-breaking receiver all over the field after the first series. Cooper, a two-time Pro Bowler and former No. 4 overall draft pick, burned Kansas City last week for 11 passes, 210 yards and two touchdowns. But Cooper managed just five catches for 48 yards against the Bills. The Bills generally like to play sides with their cornerbacks. But with starter E.J. Gaines out due to hamstring injury, the Bills' coaches wanted their No. 1 draft choice to target Cooper. White played perfect trail technique in Cover 2 vs. Cooper on a pretty breakup deep down the right sideline in the second quarter.
"On Tuesday they told me," White said of the coaches. "That's what I want. I'm a competitor, so I want to go against the best each and every week. The coaches know that."
Bills third-down defense vs. Derek Carr
The Raiders converted just 3 of 10 third-down situations. Oakland's high-powered offense failed to sustain drives after driving 81 yards to a touchdown on its first possession.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was 5 of 9 passing on third down for just 39 yards with one interception. That was the pass Preston Brown tipped into the arms of safety Micah Hyde. Carr was not able to exploit Bills cornerback Shareece Wright, who was subbing for injured E.J. Gaines. And with safety Trae Elston subbing for injured Jordan Poyer, the Bills did not have major coverage busts that resulted in Oakland long-gainers.
"There wasn't one time out there where I thought Trae didn't do this or hesitate," said Hyde. "He didn't flinch at all."
Solid Bills run defense helped. Six of Carr's third-down situations were for 6 yards or longer.