Preview: Derek Carr, Raiders Battle LeSean McCoy & Bills For Postseason Contention

The Oakland Raiders have come a long way from their previous seasons. At a point where many expect the usual Raiders to falter, Jack Del Rio and Derek Carr have this team focused on the only goal at hand. The Raiders continue their week-by-week mentality, preparing them for the road to the Super Bowl.

Their Week 13 stop has them pitted at the Oakland Coliseum against the Buffalo Bills. Entering the week, the Bills hold a 6-5 record, which has them third in their division and just outside of playoff contention.

For the Bills, each possible game could bring an end to them reaching the playoffs. On the other had, the Raiders enter Week 13 with a 9-2 record. They hold a full-game lead in the AFC West, while being tied atop the AFC with the New England Patriots.

Del Rio’s team has faced some difficult test these past few weeks, with the Bills being no different. For the most part, the Raiders have been relatively injury-free these past weeks. However, the team was informed this week that defensive back D.J. Hayden has been placed on the season-ending IR with a hamstring injury.

Ken Norton Jr.’s unit will have to alter their depth chart a bit, as Antonio Hamilton and T.J. Carrie should see more playing time. The Bills also have their own injuries to deal with, as wide receivers Roberts Woods and Percy Harvin have both been ruled out. Sammy Watkins, who just returned from his own injury, still remains questionable with a foot problem.

With Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor without his key receivers, we should see a bulk of the plays go to LeSean McCoy and the running game. McCoy’s versatility and footwork present a dangerous problem, as he produces a lot of missed tackles.

Coming into this contest, the Bills own the 10th ranked defense (341.9 YPG) and 18th ranked offense (339.9 YPG). To the contrary, the Raiders come in with the 29th ranked defense (390.4 YPG) and fifth ranked offense (391.0 YPG).

In particular, the Bills have been great against stopping the pass. The 227.7 passing yards per game they allow ranks eighth in the NFL, while their 114.2 rushing yards allowed per game ranks 21st.

Against MVP candidate Carr and his deadly receiving core, the Bills will have their backs against the wall. Another pleasant part of this matchup resides with running back Latavius Murray. The running back should see ample opportunities and holes during the game, with the Raiders proudly boasting one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

When looking at the statistics of the Raiders’ defense, their averages continue to rank amongst the bottom of the NFL. However, it has been the clutch ability of the defense to get stops and turnovers in the fourth quarter that has led to multiple wins. The defense ranks 28th in passing defense (273.5 YPG) and 26th in rushing defense (116.9 YPG).

Bills’ head coach Rex Ryan is a well-respected coach around the NFL, with his ability to fire up his players and have them execute strong passing defenses. However, Del Rio has his roster fully invested in this new business style.

The game is slated for a 1:05 PM PST start time, airing locally on CBS. This contest marks the end of the Raiders’ four consecutive games at home, as Raider nation will show up strong as always.