PFF Preview: Bills @ Raiders, Week 16
Looking to keep their slim playoff hopes alive for yet another week, the Buffalo Bills travel to Oakland looking for the elusive win No. 9. They’ll still need to win out to have a shot at some post-Week 17 action, and that starts with taking care of business in Oakland.
It was the Bills’ coverage unit that stood out in last week’s upset win over Green Bay, and against Derek Carr it may have hopes for another good outing. A second-round pick, Carr has mixed the good with the bad, posting a passer rating over 90 three times this year, only to match that up with several games in the 60’s. He carries in a -18.8 passing grade, but Carr has shown signs of competent play with five positive game grades on the year as well.
Where he may run into trouble is in a Buffalo secondary that held Aaron Rodgers to a season-worst mark in virtually every category. The most impressive of the Bills’ back end has been Corey Graham, who’s sitting fifth among corners with a +9.4 coverage grade. Even outside the secondary, both Preston Brown and Nigel Bradham have helped ease the loss of Kiko Alonso, and with four pass rushers ranging from viable to excellent, the Oakland passing attack has a tough task ahead.
With just this week and next week against the Broncos left to play spoiler, the Raiders still have work to do if they want to knock a few contenders down a peg.
Mario Williams – Even in an off game against Green Bay, Williams still managed a blocked field goal and a strip sack. He’ll look to add to his 14 sacks against Khalif Barnes who’s allowed only two in 432 pass blocking snaps, though he did allow six total pressures last week.
Robert Woods – His teammate may be garnering all the attention, but in Year 2 Buffalo needs more consistency out of Woods. Held to three or fewer catches in eight games on the season, the USC product needs more displays like his 118-yard performance in Week 12 to help spark the passing game.
Fred Jackson – At the ripe age of 33, the long-time Bill still has tread left on the tires. Jackson has forced 29 missed tackles this year and with C.J. Spiller’s status still up in the air, Jackson should feature prominently in the offense.
Khalil Mack – One of the top draft picks from this year’s draft, Mack has been a terror against the run, earning a position-high +45.7 run defense grade, more than double the next closest outside linebacker. Forcing Kyle Orton to throw in a one-dimensional offense may be Oakland’s best chance at an upset.
Charles Woodson – After a strong start to the season, the veteran corner turned safety has fallen off a bit, though he leads the team in total tackles and is fourth in defensive stops.
Donald Penn – Despite earning a negative pass blocking grade in each of the last two seasons in Tampa, Penn has graded negatively in protection just twice this year and sits at +12.0 on the year. He’ll face a stiff assignment this week in Jerry Hughes, whose 11 sacks is second-most on the Bills.
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