A closer game than the final outcome

The Oakland Raiders' 49-31 win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium may have the most telling so far. The margin of victory may look like just another blowout on the surface but a deeper look suggests otherwise.

 

The Oakland Raiders' 49-31 win over the Buffalo Bills Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium may have the most telling so far.

            The margin of victory may look like just another blowout on the surface but a deeper look suggests otherwise. That situation may serve to benefit the Raiders in the long run. Oakland, now 4-0 heading into Sunday's matchup at St. Louis, has outscored its opponents 162-90.

While its win over the Bills was not a nail biter but it was not signed, sealed and delivered until under five minutes remained in the contest. The Raiders trailed 31-28 entering the fourth quarter of a hostile environment. It marked the first time this season Oakland trailed in the fourth quarter but scored 21 unanswered points. Phillip Buchanon's 81-yard interception return for a touchdown gave Oakland a 42-31 advantage with 8:21 left in the game.

The Raiders have looked impressive in bludgeoning teams. Even the greatest of teams, however, can expect to face a tight game that goes into the fourth quarter especially in the parity driven NFL. Through the first five weeks of the season 18 games have been decided by seven or less points, 15 by three or less, two by less than three, and eight in overtime.

 


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