Bills vs. Raiders: 6 things to watch for during Week 2’s matchup

The Buffalo Bills continue their regular season journey at home against the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 2.

Once the battle arrives, there will be a few particular things to keep in mind.

Here are six things to watch for during Sunday’s Bills-Raiders matchup:

A response

Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Head coach Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

The Bills need a response. It sounds simple, but so did beating the New York Jets without Aaron Rodgers

Can Sean McDermott get his team ready to go, firing on all cylinders, from the start? One thing working in his favor: It’s the home opener in Buffalo. Essentially a holiday in Western New York. That can help.

A step for Terrel?

Bills linebacker <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Matt Milano;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Matt Milano</a> (58) reacts after his interception with linebacker <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Terrel Bernard;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Terrel Bernard</a> (43) redit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Terrel Bernard had some growing pains in his first game as a starter last week. It’s very fair to give him some time to settle in.

But it would be helpful for Bernard to show some improvement against the Raiders. Calls for Christian Kirksey could start to grow after he signed to Buffalo’s practice squad.

Stop the stars

Raiders receiver <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Davante Adams;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Davante Adams</a> (17) Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Raiders receiver Davante Adams (17) Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It’s pretty straight forward. To differing degrees, every NFL team has their sets of “best players” and you want to stop them from having a good game.

In terms of the Raiders, it’s very much true.

While some might overlook quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, he has two fantastic weapons around him in receiver Davante Adams and running back Josh Jacobs. Adams has led the NFL in touchdowns and Jacobs has led the league in rushing yards.

Stop them. At all costs.

After giving up a chunks of yards on the ground against the Jets, the Bills might be looking toward slowing down Jacobs more.

More 12?

Bills tight end <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Dalton Kincaid;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Dalton Kincaid</a> (86) Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

In Week 1, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey rolled out a lot of 12 personel looks. First-round rookie Dalton Kincaid and Dawson Knox both had a handful of catches and it looked they could’ve both gotten even more.

With the Bills in need of more weapons aside from Stefon Diggs, could the 12 personnel be used a lot again? Kincaid was on the field for 80 percent of snaps against New York.

Josh's turnovers

Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, duh. Of course Josh Allen has to stop turning the ball over. The Bills quarterback did four times last week and you rarely win games in that manner.

On top of that, Garoppolo is one of the best at not turning it over. In 2022, he only had four total interceptions. Allen had 14.

Special teams adjustments

Jets wide receiver <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Xavier Gipson;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Xavier Gipson</a> (82) Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Jets wide receiver Xavier Gipson (82) Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The Bills allowed a game-winning punt return against the Jets in that 22-16 overtime loss last week. That could call for some changes to the way the special teams is run in Buffalo.

But that’s not even the most alarming part. This issue dates back to the preseason. The Bills really need to lock it down on special teams against Las Vegas.

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire