Buffalo Bills Rookies Step Up and Win Turnover Battle in Route of Raiders

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Micah Hyde (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Micah Hyde (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

The narrative is rapidly changing at One Bills Drive. Sunday, the Buffalo Bills continued to change the tale of their 2017 season with a 34-14 blowout of the Oakland Raiders at home.

With the victory on Sunday, the Buffalo Bills improved to 4-0 to start the year at home. This marks the best home start during the playoff drought.

Overall, the Bills now sit at 5-2, maintaining pace with the mighty Patriots in the AFC East and continue to hold the 5th spot in the AFC playoff race.

The Bills have not started the season 5-2 since 2011. It’s their best start at home in over 20 years. There are a lot of reasons why The Bills Mafia should be smiling.

Rookies Playing Like Veterans 

Tre’Davious White is already turning some heads this season with his above average play. Well, he did it again yesterday by essentially shutting down Amari Cooper, who was coming off a career game last Thursday against the Chiefs.

White has been making plays all year. Opposing teams are going to have to start throwing the ball away from him.

He has arguably been the biggest asset on defense this year.

Matt Milano was the MVP of the game yesterday. He has been turning the heads of Bills fans as well. He recovered a fumble for a TD and forced another one. It was his first career touchdown.

Zay Jones only had three receptions but it finally looked like the rookie formed a chemistry with Tyrod Taylor.

Rookies being well coached and executing flawlessly has been a factor for the Buffalo Bills all season.

Top Guys

LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor both stepped up big time again on Sunday.

Shady looks to be back to old form as he ran for 151 yards and had the long TD run that iced the game in the fourth quarter.

On Cookie Gilchrist “Wall of Fame” day, Shady crossed the plane once and was a workhorse who had 27 carries.

Tyrod Taylor continues to silence the haters.

Tyrod does not blow up the stat book but his rushing touchdown, 167 passing yards, no interceptions, and never getting sacked all added up to an offense that went off.

Defenses try to adjust to Tyrod and make him stay in the pocket and not run wild. That approach did not work Sunday. He only threw seven incompletions and was careful with the football.

Between Taylor and Shady, the offense won the time of possession 35-25. A huge key to the game was keeping the Raiders offense off the field.


Sean McDermott probably deserves more credit than anybody.

Coach McDermott has done an outstanding job. He has every single player on the team set up for success.

One thing I noticed about Coach, particularly in this game, was that any given player, on any given play, can step up and help the team win.

Winning coaches often game plan around the ability of their under the radar players.

Buffalo has the perennial playmakers. Shady, Tyrod, Kyle Williams. But McDermott has gotten the guys like Milano, White, Andre Holmes, and Trae Elston to step up.

McDermott and his Bills are hard to prepare for because no one knows who is going to make the next game-changing play.


The Raiders looked very rusty coming off long rest, something the Bills will have to overcome Nov. 12 against the Saints.

More from Empire Writes Back

The Bills seemed to come out of this game relatively unscathed in terms of injuries which is always a great thing, especially going into a short week.

Jordan Poyer and EJ Gaines did not play.

Marcell Dareus’ absence was not felt at all. The defense looked fine without him.

Stephen Hauschka kept his point streak alive.

The Bills scored 20 or more points at home for the 13th consecutive game, longest such streak in the NFL.

Buffalo’s +14 turnover margin is the best in the league. Against the Raiders, the Bills won the turnover battle 4-0.

Next: Buffalo Bills Continue “The Process”, Trade Marcell Dareus

Final Thoughts

The Buffalo Bills are now 3-1 vs the AFC and 4-0 at New Era field.

On Thursday, the Bills will play their eighth game and only scheduled primetime game as they travel to New Jersey to finish their season series against the surprising New York Jets on Thursday Night Football.