Buffalo Bills Running Back Lesean McCoy
The Oakland Raiders are just about 48 hours away from their showdown in the Bay with the Buffalo Bills. The Silver and Black will host the east coast squad at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Sunday afternoon in a battle of the big men.
Through 12 games this season, Buffalo has been the most successful rushing team in the NFL with an average 157.4 yards per game. The offensive line has been able to open up running lanes for Lesean McCoy who can be a handful out of the backfield.
The Raiders front seven will be tasked with stopping an explosive offense and limiting quarterback Tyrod Taylor from making plays outside of the pocket. Heading into the Week 13 matchup, here's what the opponents are saying.
**Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan
Ryan faced quarterback Derek Carr his rookie season and discussed what he's seen from the young signal-caller's growth.
"He's doing an unbelievable job and, obviously, I think the Raiders are, I believe, fifth in the league in offense and fourth in passing and 10th in rushing, so there are a lot of weapons around him. They do a great job of building that team up with [General Manager Reggie] McKenzie and [director of player personnel] Joey Clinkscales and all that. They've put together a heck of a football team, but he's doing a great job of playing the position."
He said that defensive end Khalil Mack is at the top of his game and in his opinion is one of the best players in the league.
"I think him and Von Miller are the two best in the league right now, the two best edge pass rushers and they can do it all. That's what I'm seeing from him, a guy that can play with speed, power, finesse. You name it, he's got it. When you look at those two, they're the only two, in my opinion, that are comparable."
Ryan broke down why the Raiders have been able to close out games late in the fourth quarter.
"Obviously, they've found ways to win and I think that's a big deal. That's what you're always trying to push your team that you're never out of it. That's the thing. They have confidence in each other. Obviously, it starts having confidence in your quarterback and all that and you certainly see that with the way Carr is, but now as a team, once you start getting a couple of those wins… They can always say, 'Well, they got lucky.' That's not true. The same team is always lucky, so to me, they've got that going and obviously that's something you have to learn and they've done a great job of that."
He talked about entering the Coliseum and taking the field in front of Raider Nation.
"You know what, I don't necessarily enjoy it, that's for sure. (laughing) I always think it's great. It's such a great venue, and the fans, they're loyal. The fans that I have in Buffalo here, it's the same way. It's as loyal of a fan base as I've ever been around, but that's the thing about the Raiders as well. That's always been such a loyal fan base and you come out, man they give it to you. They give you the business, but I give it right back to them. I kind of enjoy these games."
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander
The former Raider reflected on his time with the team a season ago and what it will be like to return.
"It'll be a great experience. Obviously, I was there last year, built a lot of great relationships with meeting other guys, Derek Carr probably being the tightest I got to last year. Being in Oakland, obviously, I'm from there as well, so it's going to be a good experience for myself. I'm going to have a lot of friends and family there as well. I'm excited to play and compete against them boys."
Alexander talked about his relationship with Raiders punter Marquette King and his success.
"Yeah, Marquette is another guy that I really enjoyed being with last year. I used to ride to the games with him so I got to know him a little bit. He's a character, has a lot of passion for the game. Obviously, a lot of ability. I love seeing him go out there and execute and then have fun doing it. He's one of the great guys in this league and just hopefully he continues to do well."
**He praised Mack for athleticism and work ethic, stating he's capable of becoming a Hall of Famer.
"He's a monster. I think everybody knows that. His game speaks for itself. There's not too many guys that have his size, athleticism and passion and the work ethic for the game all within one person. That's why he's so dynamic. Obviously, if he continues to maintain his health, he's going to be a Hall of Famer."
Running Back Lesean McCoy
McCoy shared his thoughts on Mack's talent and what makes him so special.
"He's a dog, I'm surprised he went to Buffalo, I thought he'd be at USC or Alabama. He's a hell of a player, simple as that. He gets to it, he reminds me of a young player that just wants to go out there and make plays. He reminds me of myself when I was about 23 or 22 (laughter)."
He spoke about facing the Raiders defense and what he's seen from their pass rushers.
"They kind of depend on their offense, they have a lot of good pass rushers, but their offense puts up a lot of points. It's kind of the easy part because they have a good offense, let your dogs go, no responsibilities… Another thing they do very, very well is they get off the field on third down."
Guard Richie Incognito
Incognito commended Mack for his success and believes the third-year player is coming into his own.
"He's one of the best pass rushers this league has to offer. He's got the total package, he's got speed, he's got size, he's got strength, he's really kind of coming into his own. He knows what he wants to do and when he wants to do it, he gets it cranked up on third down and is very hard to block. We've got a plan for him and we've got to lock him down in order to have success throwing the ball downfield."