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Raiders unravel in turnover-filled loss at Buffalo

Oakland Raiders running back DeAndre Washington (33) fumbles the ball as he is hit by Buffalo Bills defensive back Leonard Johnson (24) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.J. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

JOHN WAWROW,

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Raiders running back DeAndre’ Washington never saw Leonard Johnson coming when the Buffalo Bills cornerback hit him from behind and forced a fumble.

“It happened so fast,” Washington said.

The same might be true of the entire Raiders team, which turned over the ball four times in being blindsided by Buffalo during a 34-14 loss on a rain-slicked field Sunday.

Washington’s fumble started the turnover fest.

Catching a short pass over the middle, he turned upfield only to be hit by Johnson, whose helmet hit the ball and popped it loose. The ball flew into the air and directly in the hands of Milano, who returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to put Buffalo up 14-7 with 32 seconds left in the first half.

With a steady drizzle falling for much of the afternoon, Washington wasn’t the only one unable to handle the ball. The Raiders turned it over on each of their first two possessions of the second half in allowing the Bills to score 27 consecutive points.

Jalen Richard lost a fumble — forced by Milano — during a punt return after the Bills went three-and-out to open the third quarter. Then Derek Carr threw an interception on Oakland’s next possession before throwing yet another to end the Raiders’ final drive.

“We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot,” tight end Jared Cook said. “Whenever we kept the chains moving, it was self-inflicted wounds. And those are things you can’t have. It’s costly, and it cost us the game.”

In losing for the fourth time in five games, Oakland (3-5) failed to carry over the momentum from its dramatic 31-30 come-from-behind victory against Kansas City on Oct. 19.

Rather than return home, the Raiders traveled directly to Florida, where they’ll spend the week preparing to play at Miami on Sunday before entering their bye week.

“I probably won’t shut up all week about how hard we need to go in practice. We’re at that point,” Cook added. “Each man needs to look at it and keep working, because that’s the only way you get out of this.”

The Raiders unraveled after Jamize Olawale scored on a 1-yard run on Oakland’s opening possession.

Oakland managed six first downs on its next eight possessions, four of which ended in punts, and another three finished with turnovers.

Carr was 31 of 49 for 313 yards with a mean-nothing 4-yard touchdown to Washington despite facing an injury-depleted Bills defense that was missing two starting backs and two days after Buffalo traded its highest-paid player, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, to Jacksonville.

The Raiders were down receiver Seth Roberts, who was active but did not play after falling ill before the game.

Oakland’s running attack faltered, managing just 54 yards rushing with Marshawn Lynch serving a one-game suspension for leaving the bench and shoving an official against Kansas City.

At least Lynch will be able to rejoin the team this week.

“Any time you don’t have a guy like him, you always miss it,” Washington said. “But me and Jalen (Richard) had to step up today and that’s just what it was.”