BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Despite the slow start for the Bills defense against the Raiders, they came up with some huge plays in the fourth quarter that helped seal the win. And that all started with cornerback Josh Norman.
With 12:39 left in the game, Norman punched the ball out from Raiders’ tight end Darren Waller to force and fumble then recover it.
“I was a little rusty at first, I didn’t think I would be but I definitely was and just getting my feet back under me and settling in and just being in a bend but don’t break mentality, waiting for my opportunity to come and it came and it felt good to be back out there with my teammates,” Norman explained.
“I’ve played against him for a long time so I mean I already knew what he brings to a team. He has a knack for getting the ball and that’s been his calling card for as long as I’ve known him so I’m glad to see him get healthy and get out there and get in a position to make plays for us. He definitely made some for us today and I don’t know if we win the game without him,” Bills wide receiver Cole Beasley said.
The Bills then took advantage of the turnover and scored a touchdown on their next drive.
“He comes in and is an immediate impact you know he makes a play, we score I think a touchdown four plays later and it changed the entire direction of the game,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen explained.
“I mean that’s part of what Josh brings to our team, our defense, in this case and when we can score points and we can take the ball away you’re tough to beat when you do that,” Bills head coach Sean McDermott said.
That seemed to be just the spark the Bills defense was looking for. After Norman’s forced fumble they forced two straight turnovers stopping Vegas on fourth down then Quinton Jefferson came up with a strip sack that he recovered.
“That’s football, you build off of momentum. Obviously defensively we needed to make a play and J No came in and made a play and it just carried the momentum into the next series and the series after that,” Bills safety Jordan Poyer said.
“We know what JNo brings to this team, this defense, he brings a lot of energy. History shows what he can do you know we’re excited to have him back after being out a couple weeks,” Bills safety Micah Hyde explained.
Norman was just activated from injured reserve on Saturday after missing the first three games with a hamstring injury so this was his Bills debut. And he was just itching to get out there after signing with Buffalo in free agency and but not being able to play with his new team yet.
“The guys really invited me to the party. It was one of those things they were having a pizza party and I was like well shoot I’m knocking on the door and they’re not gonna let me in so I had to kick it down,” Norman laughed.
Even though Levi Wallace continued to start opposite of Tre’Davious White against the Raiders, Wallace got hurt in the first quarter and was first listed as questionable to return with a left ankle injury but then was downgraded to out. Norman replaced him.
“You know one guy gets hurt the other guy steps in and J No made a huge play for us and he really got our defense rolling today. Once we got that takeaway we were able to go out there and start making more plays so just credit to him and what he’s been able to do. Being out the last couple weeks but still being able to keep his head in the locker room, in the playbook and we’re happy to see him to that,” Hyde said.