ORCHARD PARK - Maybe, just maybe, this Bills season will end differently than the last 17.
On a rain-soaked afternoon, the Raiders never looked comfortable. Four Oakland turnovers improved the Bills margin to +14 for the season as Buffalo rolled to a 34-14 win.
The Bills were without two starters in their secondary and were two days removed from trading starting defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. It didn't matter. The Bills held Oakland's wide receiver duo of Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper to 131 yards on 10 combined receptions and the Raiders finished with only 54 rushing yards.
It appeared to be the start of a long afternoon for the Bills after Jamize Olawale capped the Raiders opening drive with a touchdown. Oakland didn't score again until the fourth quarter.
The turning point of the game came in the final minute of the first half. With the score tied at 7, cornerback Leonard Johnson forced a fumble from Raiders running back DeAndre Washington that was recovered by Bills linebacker Matt Milano. The rookie from Boston College returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to give Buffalo the lead for good.
The only points in the third quarter came from the gifted right foot of kicker Stephen Hauschka, but the Bills ended the frame in the midst of a 12-play, 80-yard drive that ate up over seven minutes of gameclock.
On 4th and goal from the half-yard line, Tyrod Taylor leapt over a pile of bodies to give Buffalo a 27-7 lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Raiders potent offense marched down the field in four minutes to return the margin within two scores, but the Bills responded with a six minute drive that effectively ended any chance of an Oakland comeback.
The icing on the cake came with three minutes remaining, when LeSean McCoy broke free for a 48-yard touchdown that was so wide open, the Bills star running back danced the final 20 yards into the endzone.
The Bills face a quick turnaround from this impressive win as they now stare down an AFC East matchup with the New York Jets on Thursday in the Meadowlands. If the Bills win, they will be 6-2 for the first time since 1993.
That year ended with a trip to the Super Bowl.