BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Buffalo Bills (7-3) look to start the back end of their season with a win at home coming off their bye week. The Los Angeles Chargers (3-7) come to Orchard Park for a 1:00 kickoff today.
The Bills finally have a chance to redeem themselves after their heartbreaking loss to the Cardinals in Week 10. Doesn't that seem like months ago? For Buffalo to get back in the win column against the Chargers, they’ll need a big day from their offense, which will once again be called upon in a game that will surely be high scoring.
Even without both Cody Ford and John Brown the Bills have an opportunity for a big game offensively. Los Angeles has allowed their last seven opponents to score at least 28 points. If Josh Allen can have a big game despite missing two key offensive players, the Bills should have an opportunity to score some points. Look for a Cole Beasley to get even more targets without Brown in the lineup. Beasley is on pace for his best NFL season and is coming off a stellar game in Arizona 14 days ago.
As for the Chargers offense, as a unit they're prolific. Quarterback Justin Herbert is the heavy favorite to win rookie of the year and wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams are both dangerous. To make things even more complicated for the Bills defense, running back Austin Ekeler was taken off injured reserve Saturday and could make his return Sunday.
This certainly won't be a walk in the park, the Chargers play close games every week. The Chargers offense is legit, but with extra time off Sean McDermott should have something dialed up for Herbert to make things a bit tougher than he’s used to.
Bills 33, Chargers 28
Season record: 8-2
Don’t be fooled. The Chargers may have a 3-7 record attached to their name, but all of those losses came by 8 points or less.
Charger QB Justin Herbert isn’t playing like a rookie QB and has proven he can do some damage with his arm.
Bills QB Josh Allen is playing like an MVP for the most part and has proven he can charge down the field when the game is on the line.
The difference? The Bills defense - yes I know they gave up a Hail Mary touchdown on their last play against Arizona - can play with the Chargers passing game. The Chargers secondary can’t keep up with the Bills. They’ve struggled for the most part this season and I think Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Gabriel Davis can cause some massive headaches on Sunday. I also expect to see more out of running backs Devin Singletary and Zack Moss after the coaching staff spent the bye looking at the run game and how they can get it going.
The run defense will be tested with Austin Ekeler expected to play, but I think they’ll do their part coupled with the Bills offense doing Bills offensive things.
Bills: 34, Chargers: 26
Season record: 7-3
Sean McDermott hasn't lost after the bye week since coming to Buffalo in 2017. That trend should continue in 2020, but it's not going to be without its struggles.
Rookie quarterback Justin Herbert hasn't been playing like a rookie since he took over in Week 2 and it's been the best thing for the Chargers. He's the future of their franchise and he puts it on display every week.
He's racked up nearly 2,700 yards and 22 touchdowns through nine games and has a great array of weapons that's highlighted by Keenan Allen: the only wide receiver with more catches in 2020 than Stefon Diggs.
But the Chargers have their flaws, too. They're 24th in points allowed per game on defense. So if the Bills can get an early lead, McDermott's perfection after the bye week should continue.
Bills 31, Chargers 20
Season record: 6-4