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:
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?
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
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.
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.
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
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.