Get the early lead and other keys to a Raiders win

James Arcellana
Nov 27, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) celebrates with game ball after a NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Panthers 45-42. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders will play host to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday as they attempt to cross yet another bridge in their growth. Last weekend, they cemented their first winning season since 2002 with a win over the Carolina Panthers. This week, they can take a huge step towards ensuring a playoff berth by breaking the 10 win mark.

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But despite Buffalo’s 6-5 record, they will not be pushovers. If Oakland wants to walk away with a win, these three keys will help get them there:

1 – Start out fast

The Bills have one of the best run games in the entire league, but one of the worst passing games at the same time. Because of that, they are not a team that is built to come back from behind. If Oakland is able to get the kind of lead they had over the Panthers at half time last weekend, the Bills will not be nearly as equipped to make a comeback like Carolina did. If the Raiders can establish a two score lead early, it will be nearly impossible for the Bills to catch up.

2 – Play disciplined in run defense

The Bills represent a nightmare for the Raiders in one particular way. Their run game averages over 150 yards a game and has the dual threat of Shady McCoy and a quarterback who can hurt you with his legs in Tyrod Taylor. The Raiders have had issues with the run game and with contain in particular. Most of that is tied to a lack of discipline. That issue has improved throughout the season and the improvement will have to continue on Sunday if the Raiders want to get the win.

3 – Protect the ball

The Bills have only given up six turnovers this season. Six. That’s the fewest in the league. The Raiders have made up for issues on defense this season with timely turnovers. This weekend, the Raiders can’t count on turnovers to help them get the win. Meanwhile, the Bills have forced 14 turnovers, which is good enough to put them in the top half of the league. If the Raiders are careless and lose the turnover battle, it will give Buffalo a good chance of winning a game that they shouldn’t win.

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