Here's the Bills news of note for Saturday, Dec. 3.
**1- Watkins working through it
Bills receiver Sammy Watkins is expected to play tomorrow in Oakland, and they need him. Both Robert Woods and Percy Harvin have been ruled out of the lineup, so having Watkins as a viable receiving threat is essential.
Watkins returned to the Bills lineup last week against the Jaguars and made a big impact. And he's ready to continue to line up and play as long as his sore foot allows him to.
He was held out of practice Wednesday, but Sammy got in limited work Thursday and Friday. He acknowledges that his foot is sore, but regardless of whether he needs offseason surgery on his foot, Watkins said yesterday he's ready to gut it out.
"Right now, I'm really just focused on the Raiders," Sammy told reporters. "After the season, if I need to get that done then we will. If I don't we'll be fine. Right now, I'm really just trying to rehab and get ready for this game."
2- Derek Carr was a standout even before he was drafted
Oakland QB Derek Carr has emerged as a star in just his third year in the league. He's putting up MVP type numbers and has been a major factor in the Raiders rise to 9-2 record.
And Bills QBs coach David Lee saw it coming. Lee was the Jets QBs coach in 2014 when Carr was a highly ranked draft prospect out of Fresno State. And Lee says the Jets sent him out west to scout Carr at his pro day workout in California.
"It was the best workout I've seen in 12 years," Lee said this week in an appearance on The John Murphy Show."I don't think he missed a pass—he must have been 56 of 56. He did everything. He threw seams. He threw deep outs. He threw "gos" perfectly. He's got a beautiful release. He's got a lot of things going for him as a young quarterback. He's playing great."
3- Flags could be flying in Oakland
The Bills-Raiders matchup features two of the NFL's top six most penalized teams this year. Oakland leads the league, averaging 9.5 penalties per game. The Bills are ranked sixth, with 7.9 penalties per game.
Five weeks ago in Tampa Bay, the Raiders set an NFL record when they had 23 penalties enforced against them worth 200 yards. Thanks to a 500-yard passing game from Derek Carr, they managed to win that game in overtime despite all of the hankies on the field.
In fact, that game, and historical evidence, highlight the fact that there's no correlation between penalties in a game and chances of winning. Six of the 10 most penalized teams in the NFL this year have winning records (Oakland, Baltimore, Denver, Buffalo, Miami and Seattle).
Still—it's tough to watch a game when the flags are falling.