- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - One week after shutting down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to move into playoff contention, the Buffalo Bills came up short against rookie Derek Carr and the lowly Oakland Raiders.

Carr threw two touchdown passes, Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals, and the Raiders knocked the Bills from playoff contention with a 26-24 victory Sunday.

The Bills (8-7) had gone four straight games without allowing a touchdown pass, including the past two weeks against Peyton Manning and Rodgers. But Carr broke that streak with a pair of scoring throws that gave the Raiders (3-12) their third straight home win.

“You see what that defense did to them,” Carr said. “The best quarterbacks, really to ever play this game, what that defense has done to them and it’s like, you turn the film on and you see what they’re doing and you know it’s going to be tough.”

It was early but Carr responded by throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to James Jones in the second quarter and then sealed the win with a 1-yarder to Jamize Olawale with 2:51 to go.

Carr went 17 of 34 passes for 214 yards but did not turn the ball over and was sacked just once.

The Bills needed to win their final two games and get some help to end the NFL’s longest active playoff drought at 14 seasons. But they failed at the easiest part - beating the lowly Raiders - and will miss the playoffs for a 15th straight year.

“When you’ve gone this long and you’re right there with a chance, and you put it all on the line and you don’t come through, it hurts,” quarterback Kyle Orton said.

Here are some other takeaways from the Raiders win over the Bills:

SPLENDID SPOILERS: Oakland has the second-longest active postseason drought at 12 but has done a good job of playing spoiler in the past five weeks by beating Kansas City, San Francisco and Buffalo at home.

“This team has never really gotten down to the point where we were ready to give up,” safety Charles Woodson said. “It’s always been an upbeat attitude with the guys on the team, and it shows out there each week.”

GROUNDED: The Bills hoped the return of C.J. Spiller would provide a spark to a struggling run game. But Spiller had minus-4 yards on four carries and the Bills ran for just 13 yards on 13 carries overall. That was their worst rushing performance since gaining 4 yards against Tennessee on Nov. 23, 1997.

“At the end of the day, they got after us up front and they kicked our butt up front,” coach Doug Marrone said. “When you do that, it’s difficult to run, pass, do a lot of things.”

CONTROLLING THE LINE: The Bills came into the game with one of the NFL’s toughest defensive fronts, leading the league with 49 sacks. But Carr was sacked just once and Oakland had its second best running game of the season, gaining 140 yards on 36 carries.

“You turn around and rush it the way we rushed it and give up one sack to that front, that’s all I heard about all week,” Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano said. “That’s not a mistake. Our guys played well up front.”

ORDINARY ORTON: After throwing a 42-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins on the first drive of the game, Orton struggled once again. He threw an interception on the next drive and then the offense had five straight three and outs. Orton finished 32 for 49 for 329 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.

“Ultimately, that falls on the quarterback,” Orton said. “It’s my job to get everybody on the same page and make sure it looks good to score points. Certainly disappointed in myself.”

CLUTCH PASS: The key play of the game came in the fourth quarter after Buffalo cut Oakland’s lead to 19-17. With the Raiders facing a third-and-22, Carr was flushed out of the pocket before connecting on a 51-yard pass to Andre Holmes. That set up Oakland’s final touchdown that sealed the game.

“I was thinking about running but then I saw Andre 1-on-1, so I gave him a chance and he made my day by making that play,” Carr said.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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