Raiders’ Upset over Bills a Building Block Win for Future of Franchise

The Oakland Raiders won their third consecutive home game Sunday in a statement victory, 26-24, over the Buffalo Bills, who were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. 

This was, remember, a Bills team that held Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers to zero touchdowns and two interceptions apiece. With that, Derek Carr's 17-of-34 performance for two touchdowns and no interceptions looks pretty impressive. 

The win was underscored by strong performances on both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball, and it gave the franchise a taste of what it can look forward to in the future with stars Carr and Khalil Mack on the roster. 

It took 10 consecutive losses in 2014 before the Raiders were finally able to get something going—after which point they have gone 3-2 and beaten the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills. No one will look back at the 2014 season and laud Oakland's record, be it 4-12 or 3-13.

But what will stand out about this season is how Carr not only had the best year of any rookie in his class, but also how he in fact finished among the top rookies of all time in production. 

Carr's 20 touchdown passes in his rookie season is surpassed only by Manning, Russell Wilson, Andrew Luck, Jim Kelly and Cam Newton, per Trey Wingo: 

He is also only the 13th rookie to pass for more than 3,000 yards, a milestone he achieved on Sunday when his 214 passing yards put him at 3,112 on the season. 

Oakland's offense didn't click right away on Sunday; Carr's first four passes were incompletions. But when they got going, the Raiders flashed: Carr's 50-yard deep ball to Kenbrell Thompkins late in the first quarter set up a short touchdown toss to James Jones to tie the game early.

Later in the fourth quarter, a 51-yard connection between Carr and Andre Holmes was part of a 10-play, 80-yard drive that re...

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