For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, the Buffalo Bills looked far from a contender in their season opener.
After an ugly overtime loss in Week 1, the Bills (0-1) will look to start living up to their potential on Sunday when they host the Las Vegas Raiders (1-0) in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Despite Aaron Rodgers playing just four snaps before tearing his Achilles, Buffalo fell 22-16 to the New York Jets on Monday. The Bills saw a 13-3 lead evaporate after scoring just three points in the second half.
Buffalo then rolled over in overtime, going three-and-out before Xavier Gipson returned a punt 65 yards to complete New York’s unlikely comeback.
Josh Allen struggled all night, matching his career high with four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble) while throwing for just 236 yards and a touchdown. Despite those issues, Bills coach Sean McDermott still has plenty of confidence in the two-time Pro Bowl selection.
“I know he’s capable of playing better,” McDermott said. “He’s capable of playing smarter as well, and he’s got to do that for us.”
Allen is eager to make the necessary adjustments, but he knows he doesn’t have a lot of time to do so.
“It’s not like I’m going out there and trying to throw interceptions,” Allen said. “I guess we’ll find out on tape, try to correct it and got to correct it fast. We’ve got a short week and can’t let this game turn into two.”
Las Vegas will look to keep Allen scuffling after holding Russell Wilson to 177 passing yards in a 17-16 victory over the Denver Broncos last Sunday.
However, Raiders coach Josh McDaniels knows Allen is a special talent.
“He’s not just a challenge for the linebackers. He’s a challenge for everybody,” McDaniels said. “This is one of the premier players in our league.
“He’s a football player, he’s not just a quarterback. I mean, he can hurt you with his mind. He can hurt you with his arm. He can hurt you with his legs.”
While the defense will have its hands full with Allen, the offense will be looking to get the running game going after reigning NFL rushing leader Josh Jacobs totaled just 48 yards on 19 carries against Denver.
Jimmy Garoppolo picked up the slack in his Las Vegas debut, completing 20 of 26 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns. His favorite target was Jakobi Meyers, who finished with nine catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns.
Meyers also was making his Raiders debut, but it was cut short after he took a scary hit in the middle of the field late in the fourth quarter. He was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol and did not practice on Wednesday.
Fellow receivers Davante Adams (foot) and DeAndre Carter (knee), safety Tre’von Moehrig (thumb) and defensive end Chandler Jones (personal) also did not participate in Wednesday’s practice. Garoppolo (ankle) was limited, as was guard Jordan Meredith (calf).
Center Mitch Morse (finger), Buffalo’s only player with an injury designation, practiced in full on Wednesday.
Sunday will mark the Bills’ first meeting with Las Vegas since 2020. Buffalo has earned back-to-back wins over the Raiders.
–Field Level Media