Shaking off a second-quarter stinger, Allen threw two touchdowns and rushed for another to lead the Buffalo Bills to a 30-23 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday.
In placing in high school for the Raiders, Allen paired well with off-season acquisition Stefon Diggs, who finished with six receptions for 115 yards. Allen made at least one pass to nine different targets.
“Our guys broke their tails in practice and my job is just to give them the opportunity to play a game,” Allen said.
Buffalo, which averages the league’s third-best 30.75 points per game, opened 4-0 for the first time in 12 years. The Bills were 3-1 last season when they made the playoffs.
Las Vegas (2-2) lost their second straight game and their first inside the shiny new $ 2 billion Allegiant Stadium. Two turnovers and seven penalties cost the Raiders dearly.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was 32nd for 44 for 311 yards and two touchdowns. Carr, who has yet to throw an interception this season, passed Ken Stabler and set a franchise record with 151 career touchdown passes.
But it was Allen’s brilliance in the first half, when he finished 15 of 20 with two touchdowns, that set the tone. His 26-yard strike against Gabriel Davis in the first practice was his 13th TD of the season, passing Ryan Fitzpatrick (12) for the most TDs by a Bills player in the first four games on the schedule. Allen also found Cole Beasley for an 11-yard reception to push Buffalo’s lead to 14-3.
The Bills survived a scare when Allen was taken to the locker room at the end of the first half with a shoulder injury. Allen said he fell “funky” on his non-pitching arm after laying in the air and shoveling an 8-yard pass to Diggs. He was back on the bench moments later, knelt on the last play of the half and came back in the second half to pick up where he left off.
“You watch the Buffalo offense, they’re doing a lot,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “The quarterback can pass left handed. The guy is a beast over there. They had a pretty good stroke.
With its lead reduced to one, 17-16, the Buffalo defense came to life stopping the Raiders on four straight possessions. Las Vegas returned the ball to the Bills in the form of a punt, fumble, down and another fumble before scoring on his final possession.
“We’ve been talking all week, we need to find ways to make plays,” Buffalo goaltender Jordan Poyer said. “The first half, we couldn’t get out of the field in the third. In the second half we found ways to stop and get the ball out. And I think it drastically changed the game.
When Buffalo kicked with 5:13 left in the third quarter, it was the first time the Raiders have forced a punt since 7:50 of the opening period last Sunday in New England. Las Vegas had allowed scores in nine consecutive practice sessions without knees.
When the Raiders kicked in the third quarter, it was the first to be forced by Buffalo in 14 consecutive opposing practices, dating back to the fourth quarter of their 31-28 victory at Miami in Week Two. Games; they forced one of the last two.
Buffalo’s two forced fumbles were the biggest since he had two in a 21-17 win over Cincinnati in Week 3 of last season.
Las Vegas managed to score its first points in a first practice this season when Daniel Carlson threw a 54-yard field goal. The Raiders were tied for the second most opening points last season at 54.
PRESENCE OF BILLS MAFIA
Las Vegas resident John Maurer, 59, wasted no time buying tickets to see his beloved Bills for games at Allegiant Stadium, San Francisco and Glendale, Ariz. The longtime Buffalo fan often travels with his daughter Taylor, 26, to see their hometown team. While the coronavirus is keeping fans off the site, that hasn’t stopped the Maurers from arriving at the Raiders’ new home more than four hours before kickoff.
“Bills Mafia travels all over the country whether or not we can be in the stadium to support the team,” said Taylor Maurer, whose Bills-themed jacket was outlined with “Bills Mafia” on the back. . “They know we hang out here for them.
Bills: Cornerback Levi Wallace left with a left ankle injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Raiders: Defensive tackle Maliek Collins injured his shoulder in the third quarter and did not return.
Invoices: Trip to Tennessee next Sunday
Raiders: meet next Sunday in Kansas City, Super Bowl champion.