STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
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OFFICIAL FRIDAY INJURY REPORT
Questionable: TE Chris Gragg (knee)
Probable: K Dan Carpenter (right groin), RB Anthony Dixon (chest), CB Stephon Gilmore (shoulder), S Da'Norris Searcy (hamstring), RB CJ Spiller (shoulder), WR Marcus Thigpen (foot), S Duke Williams (concussion), DE Jarius Wynn (knee)
Out: CB Tarell Brown (foot), WR Vincent Brown (groin), CB Chimdi Chekwa (hamstring), TE Brian Leonhardt (concussion), WR Denarius Moore (knee, ankle), T Menelik Watson (foot, ankle)
Questionable: CB D.J. Hayden (back), DE C.J. Wilson (knee)
Probable: QB Derek Carr (right thumb), CB T.J. Carrie (ankle)
RB C.J. Spiller was activated from injured reserve Friday and is expected to play against the Oakland Raiders.
FB Frank Summers, who had been inactive the past four games, was waived to make room on the 53-man roster for Spiller who came off the injured reserve/designated to return list.
WR Sammy Watkins is 150 yards shy of reaching 1,000 receiving yards for the season. Since 1992, only nine rookie WRs to date have reached that plateau.
RB Fred Jackson is one rushing TD shy of 31 for his career, which would tie him for third on the Bills' career list.
DE Jerry Hughes needs half a sack to get to double digits. If he gets there, the Bills would have three players in double digits in back-to-back years, the first team to do so since the 1996-97 49ers.
P Colton Schmidt is five punts inside the 20 shy of setting a new club record.
TE Scott Chandler continues to rank third in franchise history for career receptions (177) and receiving TDs (16) for tight ends.
K Jordan Gay is tied for eighth in the league with 43 touchbacks, already a team record.
K Dan Carpenter ranks tied for fourth in the NFL in scoring with 122 points. His 32 field goals are one shy of tying the team record he shares with Steve Christie.
QB Kyle Orton has a QB rating of 93.7 on third down, 14th-best in the NFL.
One week after throttling the NFL's highest-scoring offense, led by the league MVP frontrunner Aaron Rodgers, the stout Buffalo defense has a far different task Sunday. Oakland, the worst offense in the NFL, ranks 31st in points and 32nd in total yards, is led by rookie QB Derek Carr. There is no doubt that the Bills will employ the same strategy against Oakland by rushing their dominant front four and covering with seven, but they will have to shore up their run defense which allowed 158 yards last week.
The Raiders are suspect against the run ranked 25th and that's partly why they're eighth against the pass; teams have been able to grind it out. The Bills will surely pound its three-headed running game with Fred Jackson, Anthony Dixon, and either C.J. Spiller or Bryce Brown. Spiller is due to return to action, and that may mean Brown will be inactive this week. Regardless, the Bills should be able to run the ball and set up play action passing. This is a defense that has given up at least 20 points in 10 games this year, playing a weak Buffalo offense that has scored more than 20 only seven times.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Bills running backs vs. Raiders LB Khalil Mack. The Bills might have C.J. Spiller back this week, added to a group that has been comprised of Fred Jackson, Anthony Dixon and Bryce Brown. If Spiller is active, Brown may have to sit. The Bills will look to control the ball and Mack is one of Oakland's best defenders who must be accounted for. Mack played his college ball at the University at Buffalo, so he should be pumped to return to the old stomping grounds.
Bills defensive line vs. Raiders offensive line. The Raiders will have no success on offense if they can't protect Derek Carr. Oakland does not run the ball well, so it will likely have to throw, and that means an underwhelming line must try to slow down the NFL's top sacking team led by Mario Williams, Jerry Hughes, Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus who have a combined 37.5 sacks.