OAKLAND – The Raiders are in search of a new, state-of-the-art stadium. This year’s team likes O.co Coliseum just fine.
The Raiders won their third straight home game on Sunday afternoon, with an 26-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills. It is also the team’s third victory of the season against a team with a winning record at the time.
The Raiders grinded out a win with solid defense, tough running by Latavius Murray and Sebastian Janikowski’s steady leg.
The Polish placekicker hit four field goals in five attempts, which kept the Raiders ahead. Raiders essentially secured victory with a touchdown. Fullback Jamize Olwale scored on 1-yard touchdown with three minutes left.
The score sent the O.co Coliseum crowd into hysterics. The old stadium offered a true home-field advantage, and was extremely loud a key moments of the game.
The Raiders are 3-12 after an 0-10 start, with interim head coach Tony Sparano galvanizing this unit. They’ve struggled mightily on the road, but he has this team playing well at home and feeding off the crowd’s energy.
The Raiders seem set to sign another short-term lease to remain in Oakland another year, though nothing is set in stone at this point.
Sparano kept his team focused on the game at hand, and that was evident during these four quarters. The Raiders played strong run defense, and churned out points despite struggles getting into the end zone.
Janikowski gave the Raiders a first-half lead and expanded the lead with four straight field goals, including one from 49 yards out to create a two-score lead at 19-10.
The Raiders got into the end zone once in the first three quarters, which evened the game at 7-7. Carr threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to James Jones in the first quarter, the completion of a drive highlighted by a 50-yard strike from Carr to Kenbrell Thompkins.
The Bills cut it to 19-17 with quarterback Kyle Orton’s second touchdown pass of the game. Scott Chandler beat coverage from Ray-Ray Armstrong and scored from 29 yards out.
With just over a minute left, Kyle Orton threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods, but the Raiders recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to seal the win.
King sets franchise record:
Raiders punter Marquette King set a team record for punts in a season on Sunday, a mark that is a black eye for an offense that has struggled throughout the season.
King punted six times and has 100 this season. Leo Araguz set the previous record with 98 punts in 1998.
Woodson’s pick 60:
Veteran free safety Charles Woodson intercepted the 60th pass of his storied career on Sunday afternoon. He picked off Kyle Orton in the first quarter, which was his fourth interception of the season.
Woodson had six tackles against Buffalo to accent his interception.
McGill steps up with Chekwa out:
Raiders fourth-round pick Keith McGill saw extensive snaps as the team’s No. 3 cornerback. He was active in the nickel and dime packages, an increased role with Chimdi Chekwa out with a hamstring injury and Tarell Brown on injured reserve with a foot ailment.
In addition to Chekwa, receiver Vincent Brown, receiver Denarius Moore, tackle Menelik Watson and tight end Brian Leonhardt were inactive due to injury. Defensive tackle Stacy McGee and guard Tony Bergstrom were healthy scratches.
Bills defensive tackle Marcel Dareus suffered a knee injury and did not return, which helped the Raiders interior running game.
Buffalo cornerback Stephon Gilmore suffered a concussion and did not return.
The Raiders will cap a disappointing 2014 season with a road game against the Denver Broncos. The Broncos will play the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night.