The Bills haven’t won a game in Oakland in 50 years.
“Wooo… talk about a drought,” Rex Ryan said when he was told.
It was November 24th, 1966 when Wray Carlton scored two touchdowns leading the Bills to a 31-10 win over the Raiders in Oakland. Jack Kemp passed for 241 yards and another score.
Buffalo did win a game against the Raiders in Los Angeles in 1991.
And nothing else since.
If the Bills can break this drought, it could go a long way toward ending the other one. The playoff one.
“Our backs are to the wall regardless of who we play,” Ryan said. “The [Raiders] are going to get our best shot. Need to win. Whatever that takes.”
The Bills still need lots more wins to make the playoffs. The good news is their top two playmakers are fine following the victory over Jacksonville.
Sammy Watkins caught three passes for 80 yards in his first game since week 2. LeSean McCoy ran for 103 yards and a pair of scores following surgery for a dislocated thumb last Sunday.
Rex said both were fine on Monday and Mike Gillislee is on track to return for the Oakland game.
The next step with Watkins may not necessarily be more playing time.
“We will just be smart with him, we will be smart through the week as well,” Ryan said. “We are not going to overdue him on the practice field, we need him healthy. Obviously, we all want to get him on the field for the entire game, but I don’t know if that is the best thing for him and for our football team.”
On the other hand, Marcell Dareus has an abdominal strain and will need to be evaluated as the week goes on.
Ronald Darby is in concussion protocol.
Ryan said he was unhappy with the red zone defense, specifically near the goal line where the Bills have allowed 12 touchdowns in 22 plays inside the five.
He complimented Tyrod Taylor’s pocket awareness, saying he’s “pleased” with the way he handles pressure.
He also addressed boos from the fans during Buffalo’s listless first half.
“Our team never got booed. I think our fans are great,” Ryan said. “I think the booing was directed at me and our team understands that.”
The Bills also understand the headache presented by the 9-2 division leading Raiders.
It will be Rex’s first game as Bills head coach against former University at Buffalo star Khalil Mack.
“I haven’t seen that nightmare yet,” Ryan said. “But, I understand some of our coaches were talking about it and that is one special player.”