Bills playoff hopes end in loss to Oakland

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Final Score: Raiders 26 – Bills 24

Location:  Oakland, CA – O.Co Stadium

W-L records: Buffalo (8-7); Oakland (3-12)

In a Nutshell:
In a must win game situation to keep their playoff hopes alive Buffalo jumped out to an early lead, but saw it disappear as their offense could not string enough yard-producing plays together. Oakland had balanced scoring with 13 points in each half and it was just enough to post a 26-24 victory. With the loss Buffalo was officially eliminated from the AFC playoff race ending their hopes of securing an AFC postseason bid for the first time in 15 seasons.

Though the Bills were able to shrink a nine-point Raiders second-half lead to just two with a 29-yard touchdown catch by Scott Chandler (19-17), the Raiders answered right back with a touchdown drive of their own with three minutes remaining to push their lead back to nine (26-17).

Buffalo cut the Raiders lead to two points again on a last ditch touchdown drive that was capped by a 30-yard touchdown reception by Robert Woods with just over a minute remaining. But the Bills ensuing onsides kick was recovered by Oakland. The Raiders kneeled out the clock for the third straight home win.

After the Raiders initially evened the score at seven early in the second quarter, Oakland steadily built a lead mostly with field goals through the second and third quarters as Sebastian Janikowski had a pair in both stanzas.

Buffalo found it supremely difficult to run the ball as they managed just 13 rushing yards on 13 carries. It was the Bills' lowest single-game output since the 1997 season (four vs. Tennesse, Nov. 23).

Kyle Orton threw for 300 yards in the game, but seven of Buffalo's 14 possessions went three and out. The loss dropped the Bills to 8-7 on the season.

How it went down:
--The Bills got on the board first on their opening possession and got into the end zone with a big play. Sammy Watkins beat D.J. Hayden on a deep post and Kyle Orton found him for a 42-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead with 9:45 left in the first quarter.

--Oakland eventually tied the score just four seconds into the second quarter. A 50-yard pass play from Derek Carr to Kenbrell Thompkins set up first-and-goal at the four. Carr then found James Jones for a three-yard TD pass two plays later (7-7).

--The Raiders then took their first lead of the game with 8:09 left in the second quarter when Sebastian Janikowski put a 45-yard field goal up and through (10-7).

--Oakland added another field goal drive late in the first half with Janikowski again good from 36 yards out for a 13-7 lead with just over a minute remaining. 

--Buffalo was able to mount a late scoring drive before the teams headed to the locker room. The offense got just close enough for Dan Carpenter to bomb a 54-yard field goal to make it a field goal game at the break (13-10).

--Janikowski would put his third field goal up and through from 38 yards away for a 16-10 lead with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

--Oakland kept leaning on their veteran kicker and Janikowski again came through with his fourth field goal of the game from 49 yards out for a 19-10 with 2:36 left in the third quarter.

--On the first play of the fourth quarter Kyle Orton found Scott Chandler over the middle for a 29-yard touchdown pass to cap a seven-play 83-yard drive and pull the Bills to within two points (19-17).

--Derek Carr converted an unlikely 3rd-and-22 with a 51-yard pass play to Andre Holmes to the Buffalo 30. Four plays later Carr hit Jamize Olawale for a one-yard touchdown pass to finish a 10-play 80-yard drive.

--Orton threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods on a late scoring drive to pull the Raiders to within two (26-24) with just over a minute remaining, but Oakland recovered the ensuing onsides kick and kneeled out the clock.

Quotes from the locker room
"We're trying to move this organization up the ladder and when we lose a game like this and we have a chance to get ourselves in better position for the playoffs it definitely hurts. Yeah it's no secret it hurts a lot."
--DT Corbin Bryant

"We knew that coming in that it was going to be one of those games where you have to take two and three (yards). Guys played physical and they put a lot of guys in the box and sometimes they outnumbered us and sometimes they did a great job of shutting down the running game."
--RB C.J. Spiller

"There are really no words at this point for how disappointed I am just for myself and the way we played in general. I feel like we just didn't come out and play. We had the playoffs this year and we let it slip away."
--S Aaron Williams

"It breaks your heart. You sit there and put your all into it for a long time. You really don't do it for anybody but yourselves and the guys sitting next to you in the locker room. We've still got one game to go and we'll play as hard as we can and try to get a win, but certainly when you've gone this long and you've got a chance and you put it all on the line and you don't come through it stinks and it hurts."
--QB Kyle Orton

Stat lines
--Kyle Orton was 32-49 passing for 329 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He had a passer rating of 87.9.

--The Bills were 4-for-15 on third down for the game.

--Sammy Watkins had three catches for 75 yards and a score.

--Buffalo had five yards rushing in the first half. Their game total of 13 rushing yards is the lowest output in a game for the Bills since Nov. 23, 1997 when they had just four rushing yards against Tennessee.

Subplots:
--Marcell Dareus left the game in the second quarter with a right knee injury and did not return.

--Sammy Watkins scored his first touchdown since Week 8 on a 42-yard reception from Kyle Orton.

--Fred Jackson set a single-season career high in receiving yards. With his 54 receiving yards in Sunday's game Jackson now has 458 receiving yards.

--Dan Carpenter tied the single-season franchise record for made field goals in a season with his 33rd make of the year from 54 yards away. Carpenter set the record last season with 33 made field goals.

--Stephon Gilmore left the game after being evaluated for a concusion and did not return.

Inactives:
CB Ross Cockrell, RB Bryce Brown, LB Larry Dean, LB Randell Johnson, OT Cyrus Kouandjio, WR Deonte Thompson, TE Chris Gragg.

Up Next:
The Bills conclude their regular season in New England in a 1 pm kickoff against the Patriots this Sunday.

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