The Buffalo Bills collected their first win of the season in a dominant 38-10 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. The energy of the 70,772 in attendance at Highmark Stadium was matched only by that of the Bills on the field, as they excelled in all three phases.
Josh Allen threw for 274 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 124.5, leaving the Bills to a comfortable victory. Wide receiver Gabe Davis tallied six receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown. Nine different pass catchers saw at least one reception as the Bills put on an offensive clinic for the home crowd.
The Bills’ defense effectively took away the Raiders’ ability to run, holding running back Josh Jacobs, who led the NFL in total rushing yards last season, to -2 yards on the ground. As a team, the Bills had three tackles for loss, five passes defended and a pair of interceptions. Linebacker Matthew Milano finished the game with four total tackles and a mind-boggling interception that he snatched from the hands of Jacobs. Linebacker Terrel Bernard had six tackles and the team’s other interception, courtesy of a tipped ball from defensive end Greg Rousseau.
The Raiders’ only touchdown of the game came on their first drive. After the Bills won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo connected with three-time first-team All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams for a 16-yard touchdown. Adams finished with six catches for 84 yards.
After Bernard’s interception set the Bills up in Las Vegas territory, Allen connected with wide receiver Stefon Diggs three times but faced fourth-and-1 after five plays. Allen powered up the middle to convert the fourth down and set up a short touchdown run by running back Latavius Murray to put the Bills on the scoreboard.
The Bills’ scoring continued after a massive play from AJ Epenesa, who blocked a pass from Garoppolo on third down. Allen then led an 84-yard drive, spreading the ball around to four different receivers before a defensive pass interference call set the Bills up at the Las Vegas one-yard line. Allen faked a handoff and then threw to Knox on the run for the tight end’s first touchdown of the season.
After a strong defensive stand that resulted in the Raiders punting from the back of their own end zone, the Bills traveled 57 yards in under 90 seconds with wide receiver Khalil Shakir catching his first touchdown pass of the season to put the Bills up 21-10 at the half.
The Bills chewed over nine minutes of clock to start the third quarter, converting on fourth down twice on the way to a Gabe Davis touchdown reception. Beating double coverage, Davis lurched forward to grab a bullet pass from Allen.
Running back Damien Harris, who also returned a kickoff 41 yards in the first kickoff return attempt of his career, scored the final touchdown of the day for the Bills to put an exclamation point on the Bills’ third consecutive win over the Raiders.
The Bills will travel to Washington next week, where they will face the Commanders at 1 p.m.
Key Stats and Facts to Know:
· The Bills’ first ever home victory was over the then-Oakland Raiders Oct. 23, 1960 at War Memorial Stadium. Today’s win marks their 267th and brings the all-time series against the Raiders to 20-21.
· Allen was dominant Sunday against the Raiders throwing just six incompletions and finishing with a 124.5 passer rating In his only other matchup against the Raiders, Allen threw for 288 yards, two touchdowns and added a score on the ground.
· James Cook finished the day with 159 yards from the line of scrimmage, marking the fourth game in a row Cook has had at least 50 all-purpose yards.
· Stefon Diggs surpassed Jerry Butler and Thurman Thomas on the Bills all-time receiving yards leaderboard. Diggs now has the sixth-most in Bills history with 4,357.
· Dalton Kincaid finished the game with five receptions for 43 yards. The rookie tight end was born in Las Vegas and played just one year of football at Faith Lutheran High School in nearby Summerlin.
· With his first touchdown reception of the season, Dawson Knox surpassed Jay Riemersma for the second-most career receiving touchdowns by a Bills tight end with 21 scores.
· Latavius Murray scored the first touchdown of the game for the Bills. The former sixth round draft pick by the Raiders has scored a touchdown in each of the last three times he’s faced his former team.
· Damien Harris returned a kickoff 41 yards in the first half in the first kickoff return of his professional career. Harris last returned a kickoff in 2015 for the University of Alabama.
12:16 1Q | BUF 0 LV 7 | Jimmy Garoppolo short pass to Davante Adams for 16 yards, TOUCHDOWN
4:19 1Q | BUF 7 LV 7 | Latavius Murray short run up the middle for 4 yards, TOUCHDOWN
12:10 2Q | BUF 14 LV 7 | Josh Allen pass short left to Dawson Knox for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN
6:48 2Q | BUF 14 LV 10 | Daniel Carlson 47-yard field goal is GOOD
0:18 2Q | BUF 21 LV 10 | Josh Allen pass short right to Khalil Shakir for 11 yards, TOUCHDOWN
5:59 3Q | BUF 28 LV 10 | Josh Allen pass short right to Gabe Davis for 2 yards, TOUCHDOWN
14:56 4Q | BUF 31 LV 10 | Tyler Bass 29-yard field goal is GOOD
5:08 4Q | BUF 38 LV 10 | Damien Harris run up the middle for 1 yard, TOUCHDOWN
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