ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Chan Gailey has devised enough offensive game plans in his day _ remember the Kordell Stewart “Slash” offense in Pittsburgh of the mid-1990s? _ to appreciate a good power running attack when he sees one.
So all it took was one glimpse at the big, bruising, run, run, and run it again Raiders’ approach to pounding the ball to leave Buffalo’s coach more than impressed.
“Scary, is the better term,” Gailey said.
Pleased as he was to see his once-porous defense contain the run-happy Kansas City Chiefs in last weekend’s opening 41-7 victory, Gailey acknowledged the Bills’ home opener against the Raiders on Sunday will be a far more daunting challenge.
“They’re so massive up front and their backs are big and strong and (run) downhill,” Gailey said. “Last week, it was edge, hitting the crease, dip, dart. This is right at you: `Here we come. See if you can stop us.’”
The Broncos couldn’t stop the Darren McFadden-led Raiders, who combined for 190 yards rushing in a 23-20 win at Denver on Monday night. And yet, the Raiders aren’t looking too far ahead, because the Bills firmly have their attention given how Buffalo manhandled the Chiefs.
“Oh yeah, that caught everybody’s attention,” defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said. “Any time you can go on the road and have a victory like that, that’s going to open up a lot of people’s eyes.”
That’s not to say Kelly is overly concerned.
“The thing about the NFL is that happened last week,” he said. “They’ve got to come and deal with us now. And we ain’t the Chiefs.”
A pair of original American Football League franchises meet at Orchard Park in an early season test between two teams attempting to become relevant again.
The Bills have endured six straight losing seasons after last year’s 4-12 finish. Buffalo has not made the playoffs in 11 seasons, tied with Detroit for the NFL’s longest active drought.
The Raiders haven’t been much better. They’ve not opened a season with two straight wins since going 4-0 in 2002. That was the last time they had a winning record and made the playoffs, which ended with a loss to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl.
There’s renewed hope the Raiders are finally poised for a breakthrough. Coming off an 8-8 record, first-year coach Hue Jackson has made it his objective to re-establish the Raiders’ smash-mouth reputation.
“It’s all about building a bully with Hue,” right tackle Khalif Barnes said. “We’re getting there.”
The Raiders have been rebuilt with an eye on brute force and speed.